Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Carcinoid Tumors

    Font Size


    When carcinoid tumors form on cells that make hormones, the tumors can start to make hormone-like substances of their own. This can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on where this is going on.

    For instance, if you've got the tumors in your GI tract, you might notice things like this happening to you:

    If you have a lung carcinoid tumor, you might get symptoms like a cough, and you sometimes might cough up some bloody mucus. You also might hear a whistling sound while you breathe, called wheezing.

    When you have this type of cancer for many years, you might get a condition called carcinoid syndrome. It's a group of symptoms that start when the tumors release certain hormones into your bloodstream.

    You might get redness and warmth in your face, or get sweaty. You might also get problems like:

    • Diarrhea
    • Feel short of breath or wheeze
    • Heartbeat starts to speed up
    • Weight loss
    • Feel weak
    • Hair starts to grow on your body and face

    How Are Carcinoid Tumors Diagnosed?

    A lot of times they're found by chance. Your doctor may spot them while he's doing an exam to look for other diseases.

    If you go to your doctor because you have symptoms of carcinoid tumors, he may do some of these tests to check if you've got them:

    Biopsy. He removes some cells from your body, and a specialist looks at them under a microscope to check for cancer. The tumor may also be tested for certain genes or proteins to help fine-tune your treatment.

    Blood and urine tests. Your doctor takes samples of both and tests them for hormones and other substances that carcinoid tumors release, such as serotonin or 5-HIAA.

    Upper endoscopy. A thin, flexible tube called an endoscope can help your doctor see tumors in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. He puts it through your mouth to get a view of your GI tract. You'll get medicine that keeps you from feeling pain or discomfort while he does this.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Ovarian cancer illustration
    Real Cancer Perspectives
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow

    Take an Active Role in
    Your Cancer Treatment

    Who should not take SOMATULINE DEPOT?

    Do not take SOMATULINE DEPOT if you are allergic to lanreotide.

    What are the possible side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT?

    SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause serious side effects, including:

    • Gallstones. Tell your healthcare professional if you get any of these symptoms:
      • sudden pain in your upper right stomach area (abdomen)
      • sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades
      • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
      • fever with chills
      • nausea
    • Changes in your blood sugar (high blood sugar or low blood sugar). If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar as your healthcare professional tells you to. Your healthcare professional may change your dose of diabetes medicine.
    • Slow heart rate
    • High blood pressure

    The most common side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT in people with GEP-NETs include stomach area (abdominal) pain, muscle and joint aches, vomiting, headache, and pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site.

    SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause dizziness. If this happens, do not drive a car or operate machinery.

    What should I tell my healthcare professional before receiving SOMATULINE DEPOT?
    • Tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes or gallbladder, thyroid, heart, kidney, or liver problems.
    • Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as SOMATULINE DEPOT may harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SOMATULINE DEPOT passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare professional should decide if you will take SOMATULINE DEPOT or breastfeed. You should not do both.
    • Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. SOMATULINE DEPOT and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. SOMATULINE DEPOT may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how SOMATULINE DEPOT works.
    • Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, a cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune), a medicine called bromocriptine (Parlodel, Cycloset), or medicines that lower your heart rate, such as beta blockers.

    Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT. For more information ask your healthcare professional.

    You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-888-980-2889.

    Please click here for Patient Information and full
    Prescribing Information.

    Somatuline Depot is a registered trademark of Ipsen Pharma S.A.S.
    All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
    ©2015 Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. November 2015. SMD-US-000105

    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas