- How are gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors treated?
- Surgery for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
- Chemotherapy for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
- Radiation therapy for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
- Clinical trials for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
- Complementary and alternative therapies for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
- Treatment of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors by stage
How are gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors treated?
General approach to treatment
Once a gastrointestinal (GI) carcinoid tumor is found and staged, the cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. Depending on your situation, you may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors may include:
- A surgeon: a doctor who treats diseases with surgery.
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
- A gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the digestive system.
- An endocrinologist: a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals.
The main types of treatment for GI carcinoid tumors are:
In some cases, doctors may recommend combining more than one of these treatments (see the most common approaches used based on the stage and primary site).
It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. Some of the factors that might influence your treatment options are:
- The tumor size and location
- Whether it has spread to lymph nodes, liver, bones, or other organs
- Whether you have any other serious medical conditions
- Whether the tumor is causing bothersome symptoms
Take your time and think about all of your options when you make this important decision. If time allows, it’s often a good idea to get a second opinion. A second opinion may give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you choose.
It’s also very important to ask questions if you’re not sure about something. You can find some good questions to ask in the section “What should you ask your doctor about gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors?”
Last Medical Review: 02/26/2015
Last Revised: 04/17/2015