Lung Carcinoid Tumor

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Treating Lung Carcinoid Tumor TOPICS

How are lung carcinoid tumors treated?

This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience.
The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.
Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

Making treatment decisions for lung carcinoid tumors

After the tumor is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. The main factors in selecting a treatment for lung carcinoid tumors are the type of carcinoid, the size and location of the tumor, whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs, and if you have any other serious medical conditions. Based on these factors, the main treatment options for people with lung carcinoid tumors can include:

In some cases, more than one of these treatments may be used.

Selecting a treatment plan is an important decision, and you should take the time to think about all of your choices. Be sure to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. (See the section “What should you ask your doctor about lung carcinoid tumors?” for some questions to ask.)

Seeking a second opinion is often a good idea if time permits. It can give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you choose.

You may have different types of doctors on your treatment team, depending on the stage of your cancer and your treatment options. These doctors may include:

  • A thoracic surgeon: a doctor who treats diseases of the lungs and chest with surgery
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy
  • A pulmonologist: a doctor who specializes in medical treatment of diseases of the lungs
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, and other health professionals.

The next few sections describe the various types of treatments used for lung carcinoids. This is followed by a description of the most common approaches based on the type and extent of the disease.


Last Medical Review: 11/13/2013
Last Revised: 11/13/2013