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Ask The Expert Archive

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Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor Archive Questions

Below are Dr. Hanna’s answers to Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor questions
received through the Ask the Expert feature.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended
to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a
health problem. Please consult with your physician about your specific health
care concerns.

Now displaying records 1 to 10 of 10.


Q : 1

My father died at age 72 from poorly differentiated neuroendocrine cancer. I am 50 years old and have noticed a few potential symptoms. Is it genetic?

Certain types of neuroendocrine tumors can be part of genetic syndromes, but generally occur at much younger age.

Q : 2

My husband has NET, carcinoid syndrome. His PET scan results say he has many areas reading 6 SUV, 29 SUV and 30 SUV. He was diagnosed six years ago and has had a lot of treatment and scans. How high does the SUV need to be to indicate cancerous tumors? He has a large mesenteric mass, which he was told was stable but is showing 30 SUV.

The SUV number is simply a reflection of tumor activity. The mesenteric mass most likely represents recurrent nodal disease.

Q : 3

My husband has a carcinoid tumor that has metastisized to the liver. The tumors are numerous, and throughout the liver and have been declared inoperable. He had surgery to remove the primary tumor in his intestines and they also removed his appendix, which was cancerous. He is on monthly injections of octreotide, but both the disease and the treatment for the disease make the diarrhea worse. Is the SIRT treatment one that may be appropriate and helpful in this case?

Yes, he should be evaluated for SIRT.

Q : 4

My husband recently had a rectal carcinoid tumor that was well differentiated removed. However, the margins were not clear. His blood work for hormones was negative. A surgeon was going to resect the area but couldn't find the tumor. Would an endoscopic ultrasound or CT scan show how invasive the tumor was? I think the tumor was fairly close to the rectum but my husband doesn't want a colostomy under any circumstances. Would resection of the tissue in the area help prevent spread?

If the tumor site could not be localized in the rectum, I would recommend repair and endoscopy every 6 months. This way the tumor could be monitored and if it returned, resected.

Q : 5

Should I be concerned about a blood serotonin serum level of 171? I had a rectal carcinoid tumor (2.5mm) removed 2 months ago.

If it was normal before the surgery and now it is at an increased level, you should be evaluated.

Q : 6

My father's physician as diagnosed a cluster characinoid tumor in his duodenum. They are telling us the surgery is very dangerous because of the location. Have you experienced these tumors in this area before? We're curious about the risks of surgery. Can you provide any insight?

The surgery you are referring to is the Whipple procedure. We do this surgery on regular basis, with mortality rate less than 4 percent.

Q : 7

I am a 22-year-old male who was hospitalized with pancreatitis. Three weeks later, my amlayse and lipase levels are still very high. I have had an MRCP and ultrasound and both came back normal. The MRCP showed inflammation in my pancreas. My blood levels are still high. Could I actually have pancreatic cancer?

It is very unlikely. Pancreatitis can be due to many factors: stones in the gall bladder, family history of pancreatitis, or may be related to alcohol or medications. If this is suspected to be familial pancreatitis, you will need follow-up due to higher risk of malignancy in these cases.

Q : 8

I am a 34 year old male. I have been having red blood in my stool. I am wondering if I should immediatley go see my doctor or wait to see if the symptoms pass. I have used pepto and ammodium with little to no success. I am just scared it might be colon cancer, or am I to young for colon cancer? The only family history I have with cancer is prostate cancer on my dad's side of the family.

Yes, you should go and see your doctor immediately even if no more symptoms. It is not hemmorhoids unless colonoscopy is negative.

Q : 9

Can a virtual colonoscopy detect carcinoid tumors effectively compared to traditional colonoscopy?

Virtual colonoscopy detects polyps, not specific types of cancer.

Q : 10

I have a carcinoid tumor they found during a recent colonoscopy. I had an octeroscan performed which did not find any other tumors. My father died of Cholangiocarcinoma; no other cancer in our family. What will the Chromogranin A test tell me? My doctor has never heard of this test. Where can I get it done?

Chromgranin A is produced by a neuroendocrine tumor and can reflect tumor activity. You can have the test done in any major hospital.


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