Carcinoid cancer isn’t the most well-known cancer, but it’s one that can affect anybody, particularly if you’re older. If you have any symptoms of carcinoid cancer, the highly experienced team of oncologists at Wellness Oncology & Hematology in West Hills and Tarzana, California, are there to help. Their specialist physicians have considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating carcinoid cancer, so if you have any questions or concerns, call Wellness Oncology & Hematology to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Carcinoid cancer develops from hormone-producing cells in the linings of your organs. It’s a slow-growing type of cancer that most often occurs in the gastrointestinal system, affecting the:
It’s often possible to remove carcinoid cancer before it has a chance to spread to other areas of the body.
The causes of carcinoid cancer aren’t clear. The disease develops when the DNA in some of your neuroendocrine cells mutates, enabling those cells to multiply rapidly and without stopping. Neuroendocrine cells play a part in nerve cell function and help produce hormones, including cortisol, histamine, insulin, and serotonin.
You’re more likely to develop carcinoid cancer if you’re an older adult or a woman. Having a family history of a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1 (MEN I) also increases your chances of developing carcinoid cancer. MEN I is an inherited disease that causes tumors in the first part of the small intestine and the endocrine glands.
Sometimes patients don’t experience any symptoms when they have carcinoid cancer. If symptoms are present, they vary according to where the tumor is and tend to be vague. Carcinoid cancer in the digestive tract can cause symptoms like:
Carcinoid cancer tumors affect hormone production and can cause complications. These include carcinoid heart disease, which develops when high levels of the hormone serotonin cause the heart valves to thicken, and Cushing syndrome, a condition that causes weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure due to an excess of the hormone cortisol.
If carcinoid tumor is found early enough, the team at Wellness Oncology & Hematology can remove it surgically. More advanced tumors may still need surgery to limit symptoms.
Medications that prevent cancer cells from secreting hormones can also be useful in treating carcinoid cancer and the symptoms it causes. If your carcinoid cancer is at a more advanced stage, you might also benefit from peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), which combines a drug that targets cancer cells with radioactivity that destroys the cells.
Carcinoid cancers often spread to the liver. Surgery to remove the cancer from the liver, or stopping the blood supply to the tumors can be effective ways to reduce the effects. It’s also possible to kill the carcinoid cancer cells in your liver using heat or cold. Radiofrequency ablation heats the cells while cryoablation freezes the cells to destroy them.
Early detection of carcinoid cancer provides Dr. Shaye, Dr. Lashkari, and Dr. Ho the opportunity to aggressively treat the disease and reduce its ability to spread. If you’re concerned about carcinoid cancer, call Wellness Oncology & Hematology today, or book an appointment online.