The gastrointestinal carnoid tumor is a neoplastic growth that develops in the hormone-making cells within the digestive or gastrointestinal system.
These hormone-making cells are also known as neuroendocrine cells; they help to control the intestine’s digestive processes. Carcinoid tumors are formed when anomalous cell mutations the cell occur, resulting in tumor development.
Gastrointestinal carnoid tumors grow slowly. As a result, they are usually diagnosed early. The tumor is known to develop in various places in the body, usually the lungs, but can also be found mostly in the small intestine. About 2,500 gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are diagnosed annually.
Risk Factors and Causes
Some of the risk factors that play a role in the development of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are race, gender, stomach conditions and multiple endocrine neoplasia Type I.
- Race: African Americans are more likely to develop gastrointestinal carnoid tumor than Caucasians.
- Gender: Men develop more gastrointestinal carnoid tumors than women.
- Stomach Conditions: Some stomach conditions may lead to carcinoid tumor development.
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type I: Studies have linked this hereditary condition to gastrointestinal carnoid tumor development.
Symptoms and Signs
Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors produce hormones that are normally destroyed by enzymes in the blood and liver. If tumorous tissue reaches the liver, however, the body isn’t able to regulate hormone production. This results in a series of symptoms:
- Shortness of Breath
- Flushing of the Skin on the Face and Neck
- Pain or a Feeling of Fullness in the Abdomen
If you observe any of these symptoms you should consult with a doctor immediately.
There are various methods used to diagnose gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors. These tests include:
- A Complete Blood Count
- Blood Chemistry Test
- Urine Testing
- Physical Exams
Treating The gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors may include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Biological Therapy
The outlook for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients depends on a variety of factors:
- Tumor Size
- Tumor Occurrence
- Metastasis: Has the cancer has spread to other parts of the body?
There are no sure ways of preventing the onset of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor.