What is the range of clinical presentations for carcinoid tumors?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Cameron K Tebbi, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Signs and symptoms of carcinoid tumors vary greatly. Carcinoid tumors can be "non functioning" presenting as a tumor mass or "functioning" i.e. producing several biopeptides causing carcinoid syndrome. The sign and symptoms of a "non functioning" tumor depend on the tumor location and size as well as on the presence of metastases. Therefore, findings range from no tumor-related symptoms (most carcinoid tumors) to full symptoms of carcinoid syndrome (primarily in adults). Due to their vague and intermittent symptoms, diagnosis of carcinoid tumors may be delayed, especially in children, in whom the tumor is rare and the diagnosis is unexpected.

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