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What is a carcinoid?

What is a carcinoid?

 

A carcinoid is a neuroendocrine tumor with its origin in the enterochromaffin cells of the body. Carcinoid tumors are rare (diagnosed in 2-4 patients/100,000 population). All carcinoids are considered cancers, although they vary in their degree of aggressive behavior. They tend to grow rather slowly; however, they usually metastasize locally and to distal sites unless surgically removed prior to their spread. Even when surgically removed, experts always consider the result a controlling measure as opposed to a cure since ongoing surveillance for metastases will enable an early response to a small spread as opposed to a major problem managing advanced metastases.