Treating carcinoid tumours and carcinoid syndrome

If the tumour is caught early, it may be possible to completely remove it and cure the cancer altogether. Otherwise, surgeons will remove as much of the tumour as possible (debulking).

You can read more about the surgery for carcinoid tumours on theCancer Research UK website.

If the tumour cannot be removed, but it's not growing or causing symptoms, you may not need treatment straight away it might just be carefully monitored.

If it's causing symptoms, you may be offered one of thefollowing treatments:

  • injections of medicines called somatostatin analogues, such as octreotide and lanreotide, which can slow down the growth of the tumour
  • radiotherapy to kill some of the cancer cellsCancer Research UK has more information on thetwo main options: targeted radiotherapy and external beam radiotherapy
  • a procedure to block the blood supply tothetumour (for tumours in the liver), known as hepatic artery embolisation
  • a procedure that uses a heated probe to kill cancer cells (for tumours in the liver), called radiofrequency ablation
  • chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and control your symptoms

Symptoms of carcinoid syndrome canbe treated with injections of octreotide and lanreotide.You may also be givenmedication to widen your airways (to relieve wheezing and breathlessness) and anti-diarrhoea medication.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018