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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
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Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine (Carcinoid) Tumors
Cancers can be caused by DNA mutations (changes) that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes. This leads to cells growing out of control. Changes in many different genes are usually needed to cause carcinoid tumors.
For more about how genes changes can lead to cancer, see Genes and Cancer.
Some DNA mutations can be passed on in families and are found in a person's cells. These are inherited (or familial) mutations. A small portion of carcinoid tumors are caused by inherited gene mutations.
Changes in 4 tumor suppressor genes are responsible for many inherited cases of carcinoid tumors.
Most carcinoid tumors are caused by sporadic changes (mutations) in oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Mutations are called sporadic if they occur after a person is born, rather than having been inherited.
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 journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Benafif S and Eeles R. Diagnosis and Management of Hereditary Carcinoids. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2016; 205:149-68. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-29998-3_9.
Norton JA and Kunz PL. Carcinoid) Tumors and the Carcinoid Syndrome. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015:1218–-1226.
Last Revised: September 24, 2018
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