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Second Cancers After Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor

Cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often their greatest concern is facing another cancer. Sometimes people with a gastrointestinal (GI) carcinoid tumor develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer. No matter what type of cancer you have or had, it's still possible to get another (new) cancer.

Types of cancer

Unfortunately, being treated for one cancer doesn’t mean you can’t get another. People who have had cancer can still get the same types of cancers that other people get. In fact, certain types of cancer and cancer treatments can be linked to a higher risk of certain second cancers.

People who have or had a GI carcinoid tumor can get any type of second cancer, but they have a higher risk than the general population of developing:

What can you do?

Many people with a GI carcinoid tumor are treated with medicines that keep the disease in check without curing the disease, so they need to see their doctors regularly. Let your doctor know if you have any new symptoms or problems. They could be from the carcinoid tumor getting worse or from a new disease or cancer.

All people with a GI carcinoid tumor should not use any type of tobacco and should avoid tobacco smoke. Tobacco is linked to an increased risk of many cancers and might further increase the risk of some of the second cancers seen in patients with GI carcinoid tumors.

To help maintain good health, survivors should also:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight
  • Keep physically active and limit the time you spend sitting or lying down
  • Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods
  • Not drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men

These steps may also lower the risk of some cancers.

See Second Cancers in Adults for more information about causes of second cancers.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Kamp K, Damhuis RA, Feelders RA, de Herder WW. Occurrence of second primary malignancies in patients with neuroendocrine tumors of the digestive tract and pancreas. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 Feb 13;19(1):95-9. doi: 10.1530/ERC-11-0315.

Kauffmann RM, Wang L, Phillips S, et al. Incidence of additional primary malignancies in patients with pancreatic and gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors. Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Oct;21(11):3422-8. doi: 10.1245/s10434-014-3774-7. 

Rock CL, Thomson C, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2020;70(4). doi:10.3322/caac.21591. Accessed at on June 9, 2020.

Last Revised: June 9, 2020

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