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Carcinoid tumors are a type of neuroendocrine tumor that can occur along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The small intestine is the most common location for GI carcinoid tumors to develop – approximately 40% of all GI carcinoids originate in the small bowel.

Signs of a small intestine carcinoid tumor

Carcinoid tumors can be difficult to detect because they oftentimes do not cause symptoms until they grow or spread. When GI carcinoid tumors do produce symptoms, those symptoms can be vague. Some examples include fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea, which are often mistakenly associated with other conditions.

Small intestine carcinoid tumor treatment

The most common treatment for carcinoid tumors of the small intestine is surgery, with complete removal of the cancerous tissue. When tumors are small and caught early, surgery can be a highly effective treatment. Surgical removal can sometimes be done endoscopically; for larger tumors, local excision may be necessary, along with removal of nearby lymph nodes.

Tumors that have metastasized to other parts of the body typically call for other forms of treatment, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Moffitt’s unique approach to treatment

Not only do GI carcinoid tumors vary greatly (by their size, location and spread, for instance), but patients also vary greatly (by age, overall health, medical history and much more). That’s why, at Moffitt, we believe that treatment needs to be individualized for every patient to ensure the best possible outcome and quality of life. Our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program comprises a multispecialty team of physicians focused solely on the diagnosis and treatment of small intestine cancers, including carcinoid tumors. This specialized team collaborates to develop tailored treatment plans for each patient.

Moffitt is designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute – a distinction that recognizes our groundbreaking research alongside our renowned clinical treatment. Our robust clinical trials program provides opportunities for patients to receive innovative treatment options that are not available elsewhere.

To learn more about GI carcinoid tumors of the small intestine, or to consult with an oncologist specializing in this type of cancer, contact Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing a new patient registration form online. We always welcome patients with or without referrals.