Carcinoid (Cancer)

Carcinoid is a cancer , generally occuring in the person’s gastrointestinal tract, that may produce excessive several amines and neuropeptides amounts, which have hormone like effects. If such cancer spreads to the person’s liver, it can result in incidences of heart damage, flushing, diarrhea, bluish skin, abdominal pain and other symptoms which lead to carcinoid syndrome.

Carcinoid Tumor produces hormone like substances (amines and neuropeptides) excess, such as prostoglandins, bradykinin, histamine, and  Carcinoid (Cancer)scrotonin. Usually such substances control internal body functions. However, in excessive amounts, they may result in the carcinoid syndrome symptoms. Carcinoid Tumor is commonly originating in hormone-producing cells, that are lining the small intestine or other gi tract’s cells, lungs, pancreas,ovaries, or testes. The cause of Carcinoid Tumor is unknown. When Carcinoid Tumor occurs  in the person’s gastrointestinal tract, the hormone-like substance is released in the blood and flows directly to the person’s liver, where enzyme destroy these substances. Tumor that metastasized to the liver, releases its hormone-like substance into the blood without processing it first in the liver.

Carcinoid Tumor in the ovaries and lungs also results in symptoms because the substances, like neuropeptides or amines, produces, bypassing the person’s liver and widely circulating in the bloodstream. Less than 10% of the patients with Carcinoid Tumor, progress the carcinoid syndrome.

The most common early symptom of carcinoid syndrome is uncomfortable flushing, usually of neck or head.  Such flushing is frequently triggered by hot liquids, emotions, drinking alcohol, or eating. Cyanosis (change color of the skin-from pale to red-to a blue hue) occurs. Serotonin excess results in food malabsorbtion, diarrhea, and cramping. Malabsorption causes malnutrition and create very foul smelling, fatty stools in some patients.

Carcinoid syndrome may injure the lungs and heart. Carcinoid Tumor is diagnosed by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), x-rays, chemical urine tests, and endoscopic studies, when doctor suggest a carcinoid tumor. He or she confirms diagnosis by measuring 5hiaa (5 hydroxyindoleacetic acid) amount-one metabolites of serotonin in the patient’s urine, which is collected during a 24 hour period.

To determine Carcinoid diagnosis, doctors in some cases prescribe drugs such as pentagastrin, calcium gluconate, catecholamines, or alcohol to create the flushing. MRI and CT scans may show whether the Carcinoid has spread to the person’s liver. Extensive evaluation and exploratory abdomen surgery sometimes may be required to find the tumor and determine its growth extent.

Radionuclide scanning and diagnostic arteriography are important techniques for finding a carcinoid tumors and analize their growth. A newest discovery shows that the most Carcinoid Cancers have receptors for the somatostatin hormone. A doctor may therefore inject radioactive somatostatin form into the person’s blood and use clear scanning to locate metastases and carcinoids. Appr. 90% of the tumors may be discovered using such method. When the Carcinoid is restricted to a certain part, such as rectum, lungs, small intestine, or appendix, surgical removal can cure Carcinoid.

If the Carcinoid had spread to the person’s liver, as may occur when a tumor forms outside the lung, operation is rarely cures the disease, but can help doctors diagnose the problems and can subside symptoms. Neither chemotherapy, nor radiation therapies are effective in curing Carcinoid Tumor.

However, specific chemotherapy drugs combinations, such as fluorouracil with streptozocin and sometimes, doxorubicin, can help relieve symptoms. The medication, called octreotide, may also subside symptoms and eflornithine, interferon alfa, and tamoxifen, can reduce Carcinoid Tumor growth. Phentolamine, cimethidine, and phenothiazines, keep flushing under control. Diarrhea can be kept under control with methysergide, codeine, cyproheptadine,and opium tincture. High blood pressure can be treated with various drugs, such as phenoxybenzamine and methyldopa.

Only the removal of Carcinoid Tumor surgically may provide a cure. Nevertheless, the Carcinoid tumor grows g so slowly, that even patients with metastases frequently survive for ten to fifteen years.

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3 Responses to “Carcinoid (Cancer)”

  1. Fanie Says:

    Hi my mom has had carcinoid cancer for the last 5 years and went for the operation where they removed most of the “tumers” but had to leave some because they removed about 60%-70% of her liver, now she went back for a scan again and they found it spreaded onto her lungs, now my question is how sucsessfull can it be removed from the lungs and what is the risk of a liver trance plant?? And if all the tumers are removed is there a chance of them reapearing in the person, and would there livespan increase to a “normal” persons live span wich is on avr +-75 to 85 Years??

    Thank you

  2. Tim Says:

    Fanie, another option is PRRT therapy. This is common treatment in Europe. Google prrt therapy carcinoid . See also http://www.caringforcarcinoid.org/ and http://www.carcinoid.org/

  3. Ken C Says:

    I was told I had carcinoid cancer in 2007. I had been ill for a much longer time however after several CT scans and other tests were done all would come back negative. In 2007 I had an intestinal blockage. During the emergency surgery my cancer was found. They did not get it all it’s still in my small intestines. In Feb 2011 I was diagnosed with carcinoid lung cancer. All in all feel well blood work aND ct SCANS OK.

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