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What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Carcinoid Cancer?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Garima 93% (462ratings)
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Carcinoid Cancer?

Carcinoid cancer is a rare type of cancer that slowly develops and grows in several places throughout the body. Most often, this type of cancer begins in the lungs or the digestive tract – appendix, stomach, rectum, colon, and small intestine. Regardless of the site of origin, carcinoid cancer affects the cells that produce hormones. They belong to a group of disease, known as Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs).

What are the causes?

The causes of carcinoid cancer are not clearly known. Researchers suggest that certain genetic mutations cause the cells to divide rapidly and grow out of control to produce more cancer cells. Besides, there are some factors, which are thought to increase one’s likelihood of developing carcinoid cancer.

The risk factors include –

  • Older age – elderly people are more likely to be diagnosed with carcinoid cancer than younger people
  • Sex – women are prone to this type of cancer
  • Family history – if you have a family history of MEN 1 (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1), then you might be at risk of carcinoid cancer.

Knowing the causes and risk factors of carcinoid cancer can help you be mindful and adopt the necessary steps to prevent the onset of cancer.

Symptoms of Carcinoid Cancer

Carcinoid cancer does not exhibit clear symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Even if symptoms do show up, they are usually vague and depend on the site of cancer.

Symptoms of carcinoid cancer in the digestive tract are as follows –

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Inability to pass stool due to intestinal blockage
  • Rectal pain and bleeding
  • Skin flushing – a feeling of warmth or redness on the neck and face

Signs and symptoms of carcinoid cancer in the lungs –

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin flushing
  • Diarrhoea
  • Patches of purple and pink on the skin that appear as stretch marks
  • Weight gain, typically around the upper back and the midsection

If you identify with the above risk factors, then you should keep an eye out for the above symptoms.

Carcinoid cancer is curable if detected early. If you notice any of the symptoms that are persistent or bothersome, then consult a specialist and get yourself diagnosed. Alongside, discuss the probable causes and treatment approach with your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can ensure higher chances of recovery and survival.

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