Has the doctor told you or a loved one you or they have Spring TX carcinoid cancer? Perhaps you’re wondering what carcinoid cancer is and what it entails. What does it affect, and what possible treatments are there? And, of course, is this type of cancer fatal?
Carcinoid tumors are a type of slow-growing cancer that can appear in several areas within your body. Technically, it’s a subdivision of tumors called neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors typically start in the digestive tract or the lungs.
Because these tumors grow slowly, they don’t show signs or cause symptoms until very late. If they do, often the symptoms are similar to other digestive system disorders. However, when further tests are done, the most apparent sign of carcinoid tumors is the excessive amount of hormones in your body.
There are several treatment options for patients with carcinoid cancer. However, the type of treatment will depend on the location of the tumor(s), how far they’ve spread. Most often, the first option is surgery.
Advances in cancer treatment happen with every new case. There are several clinical trials for carcinoid treatment. The patient should speak their concerns with their treatment team so they know all the treatment options available to them.
Diagnosing Spring TX Carcinoid Cancer
As stated earlier, carcinoid tumors are very sneaky. They don’t show any outward signs of issues until it’s almost too late. Even if you do realize some symptoms early on, most coincide with other digestive disorders.
One symptom is your skin flushing red or pink. It may be a sign of carcinoid syndrome, but it may also be from menopause, an alcoholic reaction, or a reaction to a drug.
So how do gastro doctors catch carcinoid cancer? There’s a long series of tests before they can be sure exactly what and where the tumors are. The first step is doing a physical checkup and asking about the patient’s medical history.
Doctors may ask patients to describe any symptoms of carcinoid syndrome or known tumors in their bodies. Patients with neuroendocrine tumors sometimes have both benign and cancerous tumors in other organs.
Once there’s a possibility of carcinoid cancer, doctors will use a variety of imaging studies and tests to examine the patients’ blood and urine. They’ll use blood chemistry studies, tumor marker tests, and scans like an MIBG scan or CT scan.
The patient’s chance of recovery and treatment options depends on a few things: the location of the tumor, tumor size, if cancer has spread, if the patient has carcinoid syndrome or carcinoid heart syndrome, if surgery is possible, and if this is new or a reoccurrence.
What is carcinoid syndrome? Usually, the cells in your digestive system create hormones that help control digestive fluids and muscles. However, if you have a carcinoid tumor, they’ll flood these hormones in your system. Although, if your liver is healthy, it’ll destroy the excess hormones in your blood.
Carcinoid syndrome happens when the tumor spreads to your liver. If this happens, your liver and its enzymes can’t destroy the excess hormones. A high amount of these hormones will remain inside you, causing carcinoid syndrome. Of course, this can also happen if the tumor cells make it into your blood.
Some of the more apparent symptoms are flushing skin, especially around your face and neck, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, or a quicker heartbeat. These symptoms may be concurrent with other disorders and illnesses, but you should check with your doctor if you have any of these.
If the patient develops carcinoid syndrome, some treatment plans include hormone therapy. These plans may include medicine to treat the symptoms, while the treatment attempts to stop the creation of extra hormones.
Treatment Options and Plans
Once you’re diagnosed with Spring TX carcinoid cancer, a treatment team of digestive specialists and surgeons will form. After conferring with each other, they’ll tell you your options. These options can fall mainly into three categories: surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
Your treatment plans can either be standard or a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a research study that tries to improve current methods or obtain information on new treatments. Patients should think before agreeing to be a part of clinical trials since some are only open to those who haven’t started treatment yet.
If you decide to go with the standard route, your treatment team will advise combining some of the treatments. The typical method is surgery. Usually, if the tumor is localized, surgery is possible. It has the highest chance of ridding you of cancer, although there is a chance that it’ll return later.
There are several types of surgery the surgeons on your treatment team can use. Which one they decide on will depend on the location and size of the tumor. Some may focus on removing only the tumor from your body; others may attempt to destroy the tumor and other cancer cells while it’s still inside, or you may end up getting an organ transplant.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are two different methods that attempt to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing without needing an incision. Chemo uses drugs to do so, while radiation uses high-energy x-rays or similar.
Researchers develop and test new types of treatments for cancer often. There are several clinical trials that exist, and one is targeted therapy. This treatment focuses on destroying cancer cells without causing harm to normal cells like chemo or radiation therapy tends to do.
Contact Our Office for More Information on Carcinoid Cancer
Cancer is terrible, and no one wants to watch or experience living with cancer. If you are experiencing symptoms relating to carcinoid cancer, you should see a specialized stomach doctor for further tests or a proper diagnosis. The faster you can catch something wrong, the sooner you can get treated.
If you need to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist, contact the office of Katy Stomach Doctor James Maher today. Whether it’s for a general checkup or to ask questions about Spring TX carcinoid cancer, Dr. Maher can help you.
Spring, TX Fun Facts:
- Spring used to be home to the Orcoquiza Native Americans.
- The city used to be a farming town, focusing on cash crops like sugar cane and cotton.
- When the International and Great Northern Railroad was built through Spring, the town became a switchyard where trains came and went.
- There are rumors that Spring’s original bank was visited (er, robbed) by Bonnie and Clyde in the 1930s.
- For more information, visit Harris County‘s official site.