Is a biopsy necessary to diagnose a carcinoid tumor?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery
No. A biopsy is not necessary in general to diagnose a carcinoid tumor. A thorough history and physical with special labs/urine tests and biochemical testing for hormones and radiographic imaging is typically adequate to make the diagnosis.
A biopsy is not usually necessary to diagnose a carcinoid tumor. A review of symptoms and a urine test can usually diagnose the presence of a carcinoid tumor. However, these tumors are often small, and it can be difficult to find them. CT scans, MRI tests, and x-rays using an injection of dye may be used, but exploratory surgery may be necessary. If a mass is found, an excisional biopsy may be performed to remove the tumor and analyze it.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

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.