What is a carcinoid?

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Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine

A carcinoid is a slow-growing type of tumor usually found in the gastrointestinal system (most often in the appendix), and sometimes in the lungs or other sites. Carcinoid tumors may spread to the liver or other sites in the body, and they may secrete substances such as serotonin or prostaglandins, causing carcinoid syndrome.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Carcinoid refers to a type of tumor and also to the syndrome it can cause. Carcinoid tumors are cancerous or non-cancerous (benign) growths that make chemicals that act as hormones into the body. Carcinoid syndrome is the condition that results from the release of these chemicals into your body. Usually, carcinoid tumors grow slowly in either your digestive tract or your lungs.


Picture of cardinoid tumor

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.