Although the exact number isn’t known, about 8,000 carcinoid tumors and cancers that start in the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach, intestine, appendix, colon, or rectum) are diagnosed each year in the United States. These tumors can also start in the lungs and the pancreas, and a small number develop in other organs.
The number of carcinoid tumors diagnosed has been increasing for many years. The reason for this is unknown. Some think it may be the result of more medical tests being done to look for something else and finding carcinoid tumors. Since many carcinoids never cause any symptoms, there are probably many people with carcinoid tumors that are never diagnosed. These tumors might only be seen during an autopsy when a person dies of something else, or when someone has surgery or imaging tests for an unrelated condition.
The most common locations of gastrointestinal (GI) carcinoid tumors are the small intestine and the rectum. Other common sites include , the colon (large intestine), the appendix, and the stomach.
The average age of people diagnosed with GI carcinoid tumors is early 60s . Carcinoid tumors are more common in African Americans than in whites, and are slightly more common in women than men .
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Last Revised: September 24, 2018