How common is carcinoid syndrome?
Carcinoid syndrome is estimated to affect around one in every 10 people with carcinoid tumors.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 13 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2018
Rating: 4.7/5 Votes: 782
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Carcinoid syndrome is a set of symptoms that are caused by an underlying carcinoid tumor of the neuroendocrine cells.
Carcinoid syndrome may not show any symptoms. When they do occur, symptoms commonly include: flushing; diarrhea; wheezing and bronchospasms; heart palpitations; stomach cramps, and; low blood pressure.
The symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome are due to underlying cancerous tumors of the neuroendocrine tissue, which release hormones into the bloodstream in response to chemical signals sent from the nervous system.
Diagnosis of carcinoid syndrome is based on measuring either the urine or blood levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (an acid produced during the breakdown of serotonin), and imaging tests to identify the location and size of the underlying cancerous …
The primary treatment for carcinoid syndrome is surgical removal of the tumor. Other treatments may include ablation, chemotherapy and medication to ease the symptoms.
In some cases, complete removal of the underlying tumor is possible. For some people, by the time they have developed symptoms of carcinoid syndrome, the underlying tumor has spread too far for complete remission to be achieved.
Early diagnosis of carcinoid syndrome can dramatically improve the outcome, but it will vary depending on the size, location and spread of the carcinoid tumor.