Carcinoid Tumor, Gastrointestinal
Growing slowly in our digestive system, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors cause cancers in the appendix, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum. These tumors rarely cause any symptoms until after progression. However, see your doctor if you have abdominal pain, bowel obstruction or rectal bleeding. You are at greater risk of developing these tumors if you have Type I multiple endocrine neoplasia, gastric problems like gastritis or smoke tobacco products. Most carcinoid tumors are found in the tip of the appendix, which is attached to the large intestines. These tumors can secrete certain hormones that cause stomach ulcers and heart disease, among other complications. Blood and urine tests or a physical exam can diagnose carcinoid tumors. Once diagnosed, prognosis depends on the size of the tumor. The larger the tumor, the more aggressive the treatment needs to be. Treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, among others.