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What you need to know about carcinoid disease includes information such as what it is and what treatments or cures, if any, are available. The following information regarding carcinoid disease is presented in a FAQs style, to better enable the finding of answers.
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What is Carcinoid Disease?
Carcinoid disease may also be referred to as carcinoid cancer and carcinoid syndrome. The word Carcinoid comes from a description by Oberndorfer as between cancers (carcinomas) and benign (adenomas).
Dr. Richard R. P. Warmer explains that carcinoid “is a slow growing cancer” with a growth rate for tumors of “3-5 years and even up to 10 or longer. . .”
In 1954, carcinoid syndrome was accepted and described as a disease. The term ‘syndrome’ refers to the fact that multiple symptoms can accompany the carcinoid tumors.
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Where Do Carcinoid Tumors Form?
The most common location for carcinoid tumors to form is in the small intestine, with an approximate 39% occurrence. In order of frequency, other sites where carcinoid tumors may be found are the appendix, rectum, bronchial system, colon, stomach, pancreas and liver.
According to Medline Plus, the average age of the patient who gets carcinoid tumors of the digestive system or lungs is sixty.
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What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms will depend upon where the tumors are located. For example, a carcinoid tumor in the appendix may not cause any symptoms at all, while one located in the intestinal tract may cause bleeding and anemia.
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How are Carcinoid Tumors Found or Diagnosed?
Because carcinoid tumors may not cause symptoms, they may be found when the patient is being examined or screened for other conditions.
When symptoms are present, they may be found when specifically looking for them, or by accident when checking for other causes of the symptoms.
They can be found during a regular physical examination, an endoscopic procedure or confirmed with a urine 5-H1AA test.
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Is There a Treatment or Cure?
The location, growth rate and size of the tumors of carcinoid disease can vary greatly, and this affects treatment options. However, it is possible to be cured with early detection and complete removal of the carcinoid tumors. Surgery is the most common method for removing and treating carcinoid tumors.
Carcinoids have been treated surgically, with chemotherapy and with other drugs. Radiotherapy is used in rare cases in which the carcinoids have spread to the skeletal system and pain is severe.
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What you need to know about carcinoid disease is that it is rare and when caught early, highly treatable. Regular checkups and having a physical to investigate symptoms are the best ways to help detect it early.
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A Review of Carcinoid Cancer. Richard R.P. Warner, M.D. Carcinoid Cancer Foundation. January 2009. http://www.carcinoid.org/pcf/docs/review.shtml
Carcinoid Tumors. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/carcinoidtumors.html