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Doctor insights on: Carcinoid

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Dr. Murthy Andavolu
131 Doctors shared insights

Carcinoid (Overview)

Carcinoid refers to neuroendocrine tumors originating in gastrointestinal (GI) tract, lungs and appendix. They are usually indolent developing over many years. Aggressive, fast-growing forms such SCLC known as Oat Cell Ca of lung represents neuroendocrine carcinoma that exhibits rapid growth and early spread to distant sites. They are sensitive to chemo and RT,


Dr. Murthy Andavolu
131 Doctors shared insights

Carcinoid (Overview)

Carcinoid refers to neuroendocrine tumors originating in gastrointestinal (GI) tract, lungs and appendix. They are usually indolent developing over many years. Aggressive, fast-growing forms such SCLC known as Oat Cell Ca of lung represents neuroendocrine carcinoma that exhibits rapid growth and early spread to distant sites. They are sensitive to chemo and RT,


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What is carcinoid, and what symptoms does it give you?

What is carcinoid, and what symptoms does it give you?

Carcinoid: It is a tumor, frequently arising in the intestine and may metastasize to the abdominal cavity, liver and lungs. It's associated with carcinoid syndrome-flushing, redness, and diarrhea. In very early stages, carcinoid can be cured with surgery. However, it frequently recurs. Medications can help with carcinoid syndrome symptoms.

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What are the symptoms of carcinoid tumors I should be looking for?

Carcinoid tumor: Carcinoid tumors can be found in several places in the intestines. They do not cause symptoms unless the liver is affected. Carcinoid syndrome can be associated with flushing, increase in blood pressure, irregular heart beat, etc. If a carcinoid is located with a bowel lumen it can cause blockage. Carcinoids can spread directly to other areas. Usually not by blood stream.

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What is a carcinoid flush?

What is a carcinoid flush?

Vasodilation: Flushing is due to the release of peptides into the circulation that cause dilation of blood vessels. It is characteristic of carcinoid syndrome and can be very unsettling for the patient.

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Is it possible to have the separate diagnoses of carcinoid syndrome and sarcoidosis at the same time?

Is it possible to have the separate diagnoses of carcinoid syndrome and sarcoidosis at the same time?

Yes: These are two separate diseases. Carcionoid syndrome is flushing and diarrhea associated with a carcinoid tumor and sarcoidosis is a disorder in which the body makes granulomas, typically in e lungs.

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If my 5-hiaa 24 hour ursine test comes back positive does that 100% mean there is a carcinoid tumour somewhere?

Possibly: But nothing is certain. There may be other explanations, but the best thing you can do is to continue listening to the doctor who has ordered these tests. They obviously know what they are doing and you are fortunate to have an excellent physician caring for you.

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What are the tests for carcinoid tumors?

Biopsy: Confirmation of diagnosis is via a biopsy; other tests include blood tests (blood counts, chemistries, serotonin, chromogranin), urine tests (for 5hiaa) as well as ct scans and octreotide scans.

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Surely, a thoracic surgeon must know if a round spot is a lung nodule, carcinoid or a coin lesion by looking at pet, CT and x-rays. Yes or no?

Surely, a thoracic surgeon must know if a round spot is a lung nodule, carcinoid or a coin lesion by looking at pet, CT and x-rays. Yes or no?

Pathology specimen: The pathologist makes the diagnosis with the microscopic exam of a piece of the lesion. Even then, it can be challenging to get diagnosis. So the answer to your question is no. Stay with your thoracic surgeon, get your follow up exams, stop nicotine if you have that addiction. Ok to go for a second opinion. Take a friend with you and don't be surprised if you get same answer.

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Can carcinoid tumors cause carcinoid crises with clonoscopy&endoscopy anesthesia? I have elavated serotonin;constipation, heat in neck&head;night diahri

Can carcinoid tumors cause carcinoid crises with clonoscopy&endoscopy anesthesia? I have elavated serotonin;constipation, heat in neck&head;night diahri

Unlikely: Carcinoid crisis is a possible complication in someone who has a carcinoid tumor. You don't say if you have been diagnosed with Carcinoid. General anesthesia can trigger carcinoid crisis in such patients, but the "conscious sedation" used for most diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopy or endoscopy would be unlikely to do so. Have you done a 24 hr urine 5-HIAA?

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I have very high serotonin levels. Does this automatically mean carcinoid tumor?

I have very high serotonin levels. Does this automatically mean carcinoid tumor?

No: There is a list of foods and medications that can cause this test to be falsely elevated. The list includes: bananas walnuts plantains hickory nuts pineapple pecans kiwi fruit avocados plums tomatoes eggplant talk to your doctor to discuss the results, and bring a comprehensive list of all your recent medications.

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What's the safest way to treat carcinoid tumors?

Location? Extent?: Tumors of neuroendocrine origin; can be hard to localize; can be in appendix, rectum, bowel, stomach/duodenum, ovaries, bronchi (breathing tubes), elsewhere. "low" malignant potential, but can be aggressive, spread; can cause abd pain, ;"syndrome" with flushing, wheezing, murmurs, etc. Small ones can be cured by surgical removal; may need chemo, embolization, or octreotide rx for symptom control.

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Mother has diagnosis of carcinoid of the pleural space (not in the lung). Have you heard of any instance of this and how treated?

Mother has diagnosis of carcinoid of the pleural space (not in the lung). Have you heard of any instance of this and how treated?

I have not: Carcinoid can occur anywhere, but the key question is did it start there (unheard of or very rare), or did it spread to the pleural space from somewhere else (also very rare but more serious, and more plausible). Carcinoid tumors are best treated with surgery, but only if complete resection is feasible. It does no good to have surgery if the entire tumor cannot be removed.

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What is the treatment for carcinoid syndrome?

What is the treatment for carcinoid syndrome?

Multidisciplinary: Tratment is multidisciplinary between surgeons, medical oncologists and intervention radiologists often. The goal is symptom control with medications or surgery or tumor ablation. Medications such as octreotide control diarrhea, flushing, rash, etc. Tumor control is achieved by surgery or tumor ablation or regional chemothearpy.

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Any cure for carcinoid syndrome?

Yes, sometimes: Carcinoid syndrome is a symptom of a carcinoid tumor. If found early, carcinoid tumors can be removed surgically, and sometimes cured by surgery. If it cannot be cured, other treatments are given, both to slow the growth and to control the symptoms.

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Within the last year I have developed irritable bowl, carcinoid tumor and fibromyalgia. Is there a reason all these things are happening at the same?

No.: Lots of other things (good physical things) probably happened to you as well but were not reported here. This is at least partly a perceptual bias. These diseases are unrelated and occur as they will. However they are all also diseases of midlife and so by random chance may "cluster" by "accident" at your age.

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Is there any relations between my carcinoid tumor and my EDS and SLE and if I have symptoms can I expect another tumor? Thanks

No association: EDS and Lupus are unassociated with carcinoid. The carcinoid syndrome is usually due to endocrinologically active malignant tumors that develop from neuroendocrine cells (mostly in the ileum) and produce serotonin. It can, however, occur from tumors elsewhere in the GI tract (particularly the appendix and rectum), pancreas, bronchi, The primary has to be removed to prevent metastasis.

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What is carcinoid system?

Carcinoid syndrome?: I assume this is what you mean. Carcinoid syndrome is a disorder in which a malignancy called carcinoid secretes a hormone called serotonin. When serotonin is secreted in carcinoid syndrome, it causes a variety of symptoms. These include diarrhea, flushing, shortness of breath, heart failure, and others. Serotonin is measured by checking 5-hiaa in the urine. It is a marker of the cancer.

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What is a carcinoid flush?

Vasodilation: Flushing is due to the release of peptides into the circulation that cause dilation of blood vessels. It is characteristic of carcinoid syndrome and can be very unsettling for the patient.

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What are typical carcinoids?

Low grade lesions: Carcinoid tumors are neuroendocrine tumors found in many organs of the body. Commonly they are found in the GI tract but can appear in the lung or even pancreas (Steve Jobs). The tumors are derived from endocrine cells producing hormone-like substances and resemble neurons secreting neurotransmitters. There are two types of lung carcinoid tumors: typical and atypical. In lung, typical carcinoids account for about 9 out of 10 lung carcinoids. They grow slowly and rarely spread beyond the lungs. Atypical carcinoids are much rarer. They grow somewhat faster and have a greater chance for metastasis..