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Carcinoid Syndrome

A syndrome characterized by signs and symptoms caused by advanced carcinoid tumors.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Carcinoid Syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome may occur if the tumor spreads to the liver or other parts of the body.

The hormones made by gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are usually destroyed by liver enzymes in the blood. If the tumor has spread to the liver and the liver enzymes cannot destroy the extra hormones made by the tumor, high amounts of these hormones may remain in the body and cause carcinoid syndrome. This can also happen if tumor cells enter the blood. Signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include the following:

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What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Particle Beam Radiation Therapies for Cancer [Internet]

Radiotherapy with charged particles can potentially deliver maximal doses while minimizing irradiation of surrounding tissues. It may be more effective or less harmful than other forms of radiotherapy for some cancers. Currently, seven centers in the United States have facilities for particle (proton) irradiation, and at least four are under construction, each costing between $100 and $225 million. The aim of this Technical Brief was to survey the evidence on particle beam radiotherapy.

Imaging for the Pretreatment Staging of Small Cell Lung Cancer [Internet]

For small cell lung cancer (SCLC), several imaging modalities can be used to determine cancer staging, which is important to ensure optimal management. Our aim was to synthesize the literature on whether some imaging modalities are better than others for the pretreatment staging of small cell lung cancer. We searched for evidence on comparative accuracy (sensitivity, specificity) as well as subsequent clinical outcomes (choice of treatment, survival, and quality of life).

The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ablative therapies in the management of liver metastases: systematic review and economic evaluation

Study found that there is limited evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ablative and other minimally invasive therapies for treating people with liver metastases. Results are presented for a number of ablative and minimally invasive therapies, but all studies had methodological shortcomings, few had a comparator group and there were with limited analyses and many uncertainties. There is scope for further research.

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Summaries for consumers

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors.

Cancer-Related Post-traumatic Stress (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about post-traumatic stress and related symptoms in cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their family members. Assessment and treatment of these symptoms are discussed.

Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of unusual cancers of childhood such as cancers of the head and neck, chest, abdomen, reproductive system, skin, and others.

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Terms to know

Enzymes
Protein made by the body that brings about a chemical reaction - for example, the enzymes produced by the gut to aid digestion.
Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract)
The large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles, along with the release of hormones and enzymes, allows for the digestion of food. Also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract.
Hormones
A messenger molecule that helps coordinate the actions of various tissues; made in one part of the body and transported, via the bloodstream, to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body.
Liver
The largest abdominal organ. The liver carries out many important functions, such as making important blood proteins and bile, changing food into energy, and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood.
Metastasis
The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.

More about Carcinoid Syndrome

Photo of an adult woman

See Also: Carcinoid Tumor, Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor

Other terms to know: See all 5
Enzymes, Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract), Hormones

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