A gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor is cancer that forms in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. The tumors develop from cells that produce hormones to help regulate digestive juices and the muscles used to move food through the stomach and intestines. Most carcinoid tumors occur in the appendix, small intestine and the rectum.
Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors grow slowly and are difficult to diagnose. Indigestion and stomach discomfort can be symptoms of early cancer, but other disorders may cause the same symptoms. Having a carcinoid tumor increases your chance of getting other cancers in the digestive system, either at the same time or later.
Risk factors for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor include:
Doctors use the following tests to confirm a diagnosis of gastrointestinal carcinoma:
Your doctor may also order blood tests to help determine the diagnosis, including a complete blood count (CBC), liver function and tumor markers.
Treatment of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors usually includes surgery and may include chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Surgery types include:
Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for locally advanced cancers, in which the tumor has grown into nearby blood vessels and other tissues, but has not spread to the liver or distant organs.
We use the most advanced technology to help patients fight cancer with less scarring, shorter recovery times and a quicker return to productivity.
Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). This rare distinction is given to cancer programs that uphold the highest standard of care for patients. When you choose Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers for your cancer treatment, you can rest assured you will receive the best possible care delivered by a compassionate team of caregivers in a calm, healing environment.
For more information about Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, including how to get connected to our support services or an affiliated provider, please call (833) 770-7771 or fill out the form below to be connected to one of our Oncology Nurse Navigators.