Carcinoid Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Carcinoid Syndrome

What Is Carcinoid Syndrome?

Carcinoid syndrome refers to the array of symptoms that occurs secondary to carcinoid tumors.
Carcinoid syndrome occurs in fewer than 20% of those with a carcinoid tumor. The symptoms of carcinoid syndrome can affect many different parts of the body.
Carcinoid syndrome typically occurs in people who have carcinoid tumors that are advanced.
Treatment for carcinoid syndrome usually involves treating the cancer. However, because most carcinoid tumors don’t cause carcinoid syndrome until they’re advanced, a cure may not be possible.

Having carcinoid syndrome can lead to the following complications:

  •     Carcinoid heart disease.
        Carcinoid syndrome can lead to the development carcinoid heart disease.
         Carcinoid syndrome causes a thickening of the heart valves, making it difficult for them to function properly. As a result, the heart valves may leak.
  •     Bowel obstruction.
        Signs and symptoms of a bowel obstruction include severe, cramping abdominal pain and vomiting
  •     Carcinoid crisis.
        Carcinoid crisis causes a severe episode of flushing, low blood pressure, confusion and breathing difficulty.

Causes Of Carcinoid Syndrome:

Carcinoid syndrome is caused by a carcinoid tumor that secretes serotonin or other chemicals into the bloodstream.
Carcinoid tumors occur most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, small intestine, appendix, colon and rectum, or lungs.  About 70% of carcinoid tumors are found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Carcinoid syndrome occurs in about 1 in 10 people with carcinoid tumors, usually after the tumor has spread to the liver or lung.
Only a small percentage of carcinoid tumors secrete the chemicals that cause carcinoid syndrome. In most cases, the liver effectively neutralizes the chemicals before they have a chance to travel through your body and cause symptoms.

Risk Factors Of Carcinoid Syndrome:

  •     Are African-American
  •     Have a certain genetic syndrome
  •     Have a condition that affects the stomach’s ability to produce acid

Symptoms Of Carcinoid Syndrome:

Generally, carcinoid syndrome does not exhibit any symptoms.
In case it does, the following symptoms may be exhibited:

  •     Abdominal pain that comes and goes
  •     Bright red flushing of the face, neck, or upper chest
  •     Diarrhea
  •     Heart palpitations
  •     Low blood pressure
  •     Skin lesions on the face called telangiectasias
  •     Wheezing

Diagnosis Of Carcinoid Syndrome:

The following tests help confirm the diagnosis of carcinoid syndrome:

  •     Urine test.
  •     Blood test.
  •     Imaging tests.
        computerized tomography (CT)
        MRI
         nuclear medicine scans

Treatment Of Carcinoid Syndrome:

Treatments may include:

  •     Surgery.
  •     Medications to block cancer cells from secreting chemicals.
        Octreotide (Sandostatin)
        Lanreotide (Somatuline Depot)

Side effects of octreotide and lanreotide include:

abdominal pain

  •     Biological therapy.
  •     Stopping blood supply to liver tumors.
    hepatic artery embolization,
  •     Killing cancer cells in the liver with heat or cold.
    Radiofrequency ablation delivers
  •     Chemotherapy.

By : Natural Health News

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