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How are carcinoid tumors treated?

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Quick Answer

Carcinoid tumors are treated differently depending on where they are located and on the particular health history of the patient, but treatment options can include surgery, medications and drugs, radiation, chemotherapy and potentially new clinical trial treatments, according to WebMD and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer specialists will first determine the type of carcinoid tumor and find out as much information about it as they can.

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Full Answer

Once they have learned all that they can about the carcinoid tumor, the doctors will offer treatment options to the patient. One of the most commonly used treatments is surgery. While it is rarely the only treatment needed, it can help remove the carcinoid tumor, according to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. When the full carcinoid tumor cannot be removed, the doctor will often remove a part of the tumor to break it up.

Another option that is often exercised with carcinoid tumors is chemotherapy. For those carcinoid tumors that are in the neuroendocrine areas such as the pancreas, chemotherapy can be particularly effective.

Radiation is rarely used for carcinoid tumors, but it can be useful for people who are in a lot of pain and whose cancer has already spread. There are also a multitude of drugs, including octreotide and interferon drugs, that can help slow the growth of the tumor as well as alleviate some of the symptoms that the patient experiences.

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