Dr. Amelia Tower explains some of the types of lung carcinoid tumors found in patients

Irving, Texas – Mar 14, 2020 – Lung carcinoid tumors are a rare type of lung cancer that grows slowly. They are neuroendocrine tumors that start in neuroendocrine cells found in the lungs and other parts of the body. Neuroendocrine cells in the lungs help to control the blood and airflow in the lungs and control the growth of different types of lung cells. They also detect the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air and release chemical messages that help the lungs to adjust to the changes.

“It is vital that you know the kind of carcinoid tumor you have in order to get appropriate treatment,” explained Dr. Tower. “Typical carcinoids have no known cause, but atypical carcinoid tumors are common in people who smoke. Some of the risk factors include having multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, gender, age, race, and family history. Carcinoid tumors usually don’t present symptoms.”

Here are the types of carcinoid tumors;

  • Typical carcinoid tumors– These are the most common lung carcinoid tumors that are slow-growing. Typical carcinoid tumors don’t often spread outside the lungs.
  • Atypical carcinoid tumors – These types of carcinoid tumors grow very fast and may likely spread or metastasize beyond the lungs.

Doctors also classify lung carcinoid tumors according to their location in the lungs. Those found in the walls of the large airways of the lungs are known as central carcinoids. If they are located in smaller airways close to the edges of the lungs, they are peripheral carcinoids. The outlook for both types is often good since most patients survive more than five years after diagnosis. Both peripheral and central carcinoids are typical carcinoids.

“If and when they present symptoms, lung carcinoid tumors may cause coughing blood, wheezing, chest pains, and shortness of breath,” continued Dr. Tower. “Sometimes, these tumors will cause carcinoid syndrome due to the hormones produced by the tumor cells. Symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include diarrhea, flushing of the neck and face, and weight gain.”

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