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Can Lung Carcinoid Tumors Be Found Early?

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Screening is the use of tests or exams to find a disease in people who don’t have symptoms. Lung carcinoid tumors are not common, and there are no widely recommended screening tests for these tumors in most people.

People with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) are at increased risk for these tumors, and some doctors recommend they have CT scans of the chest every 2-5 years.

Carcinoid tumors usually grow and spread slowly, so most are found at an early or localized stage, even if they have been causing symptoms for some time.

However, many people with peripheral carcinoid tumors or small central carcinoid tumors have no symptoms. Carcinoids that are not causing symptoms are often found when a chest x-ray or CT scan done for other reasons.

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.

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: August 28, 2018

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