Frequently Asked Questions - What is Carcinoid Cancer?

The term Goblet Cell Carcinoid or adenocarcinoid, mucinous carcinoid is applied to two types of carcinoid. Both types of carcinoid are quite different from the ordinary carcinoid. Unfortunately, adenocarcinoid is a more aggressive tumor and carries a poor prognosis. One type arises in the ovary (reference: Primary Ovarian Carcinoid Tumors, K.P. Davis et. a:l., Gyn.Oncol 61; 259-265, 1996) and the second type is also referred to as collision tumor in the intestine and is more often called adenocarcinoid. You can find references to it (do a PubMed search from our website) if you search for collision tumor. Because of the poor prognosis of these types of tumors, the pathologic interpretation of the tumor biopsy should be confirmed by an EXPERT second opinion.

Yes, particularly when found in the stomach and lung.

It is microscopic in size and then grows.

Neurokinin B is a nonspecific peptide hormonal substance sometimes co-secreted into the blood along with one of the other carcinoid products such as serotonin, chromogranin A, substance P and pancreatic polypeptide.

Every last trace of octreotide and the isotope Indium 111 used in the OctreoScan are gone from the body within 1 week. There is no effect on conception thereafter.

Every last trace of octreotide and the isotope Indium 111 used in the OctreoScan are gone from the body within 1 week.

It is not 100% certain. In fact, the urine 5HIAA test will miss 50% of cases. Therefore other tests are usually done in conjunction with these tests. Among the most common tests done for diagnostic purposes are blood serotonin and blood chromogranin A. Other tests such as substance P and VIP may also be done.

The OctreoScan is a test which images 85% of carcinoid tumors but is not the best way to show their growth. It does indicate the potential usefulness of Sandostatin (octreotide) treatment when a tumor lights up on the OctreoScan.

Serotonin is a chemical product produced by some carcinoids in various amounts. It does not regulate the tumors. When in large amounts, it causes symptoms but in any amount, it is a useful marker for the presence of each tumor. 5HTP is the chemical precursor (for the substance) from which serotonin is made and is also a useful marker sometimes.

In general, it can take 3-5 years and even up to 10 or longer for carcinoid tumors to grow. These are generally very slow-growing tumors.

The answers below stem from the review of over 13,000 carcinoid cases covering five decades published in 2003, authored by Irvin Modlin and collegues.

What is the most common site of carcinoid in the human body?  primary site is small intestine
What is the most common site of malignant carcinoid in body? primary site is small intestine
What is the most common site of carcinoid in gut? primary site is terminal ileum
What is the most common site of malignant carcinoid in gut? primary site is terminal ileum

Also, the most common sites of regional spread for all carcinoids are lymph nodes and the most common site for distant spread for all carcinoids is the liver.

Reference: See Dr. Modlin's article A 5-Decade Analysis of 13,715 Carcinoid Tumors (Full text PDF)
By Irvin M. Modlin, M.D., Kevin D. Lys, M.D., Mark Kidd, Ph.D.
Cancer 2003 Feb 15;97(4):934-59

 

Carcinoid is a slow growing cancer. If it is all removed a person can be cured. However, there is always the risk of undetected microscopic cells remaining. These cells may show up after a number of years and would require chemotherapy or they could gradually kill a patient. The patient should be on periodic surveillance for at least 10 years. I recommend that you read the more comprehensive "Review of Carcinoid Disease" for a more in-depth answer to these questions.

Carcinoid is a slow growing cancer. If it is all removed a person can be cured. However, there is always the risk of undetected microscopic cells remaining. These cells may show up after a number of years and would require chemotherapy or they could gradually kill a patient. The patient should be on periodic surveillance for at least 10 years. I recommend that you read the more comprehensive "Review of Carcinoid Disease" for a more in depth answer to this questions.