Signs and symptoms

In the early stages of having a carcinoid tumour, you may not have any symptoms. You may also not have symptoms if the tumour is just in your digestive system, as any hormones it produces will be broken down by your liver.

If symptomsdo develop, they tend to be fairly general and can be easily mistaken for signs of other illnesses.

Symptoms may result from both the tumour itself and from any hormones it releases into the bloodstream.

Symptoms caused by the tumour

Symptoms will dependon where in the body the tumour develops:

  • Abowel carcinoid tumour may cause Tummy ache , a blocked bowel ( diarrhoea , constipation , feeling or being sick) and bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding) .
  • A lung carcinoid tumour may cause a cough , which may make you cough up blood , and cause wheezing, breathlessness , chest pain and tiredness.
  • Astomach carcinoid tumour may cause pain, weight loss, tiredness and weakness.

Some tumours may not cause any symptoms and are discovered by chance. For example,an appendix carcinoid tumour may only befound when the appendix is being removed for another reason.

Symptoms caused by the hormones (carcinoid syndrome)

Typical symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include:

  • diarrhoea,tummy pain and loss of appetite
  • flushing of the skin, particularly the face
  • fast heart rate
  • breathlessness and wheezing

These symptoms may come on unexpectedly, as the hormones can be produced by the tumour at any time.

Some people may also developcarcinoid heart disease, wherethe heart valves thicken andstop working properly. There is also a risk of developing a rare but serious reaction calleda carcinoid crisis, which involves severe flushing, breathlessness and a drop in blood pressure.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018