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Lung carcinoid tumor survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.
Unfortunately, being treated for lung carcinoid tumor doesn’t mean you can’t get another cancer. People who have had lung carcinoid tumors can still get the same types of cancers that other people get. In fact, they might be at higher risk for certain types of cancer.
Survivors of lung carcinoid tumors can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of:
Exactly how high the risk is of these second cancers is not known at this time.
After completing treatment, you should still see your doctor regularly. Report any new symptoms or problems, because they could be caused by the cancer spreading or coming back, or by a new disease or second cancer.
Lung carcinoid survivors should also follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer, such as those for colorectal, breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. Screening tests can find some cancers early, when they are likely to be treated more successfully. For people who have had lung carcinoid tumors, most experts don’t recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers unless you have symptoms or if you or your family have multiple endocrine neoplasia I (MEN I) syndrome.
There are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, people who have had lung carcinoid tumors should do their best to stay away from tobacco products. Not smoking lowers the chance of developing most lung cancers, but whether or not it helps decrease the possibility of a new lung carcinoid tumor from forming is not known.
To help maintain good health, lung carcinoid survivors should also:
These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.
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 journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting was originally published by the National Cancer Institute. NCI website. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet#q9. Reviewed December 19, 2017. Accessed July 11, 2018.
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 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21591 on June 9, 2020.
So A, Pointon O, Hodgson R, Burgess J. An assessment of 18 F-FDG PET/CT for thoracic screening and risk stratification of pulmonary nodules in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2018 May;88(5):683-691. doi: 10.1111/cen.13573.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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