Carcinoid Cancer Treatment
Treatment of carcinoid cancer is individualized and depends on many factors including the stage of the cancer, the cancer cell type, and the location of the cancer. Surgery to remove the cancer is the most common treatment and can result in a cure. There are several different types of surgery to remove carcinoid cancer and several different procedures to remove metastasized cancer.
Carcinoid tumors in the appendix may require appendectomy and surgical bowel resection. Carcinoid tumors in the rectum may be treated with electric fulguration (cauterizing or "burning"), local excision, or resection. Surgical resection may be required for carcinoid tumors in the stomach, colon, and pancreas. Small intestine tumors may be removed with local excision and resection. Depending on the condition, it may be necessary to remove nearby lymph nodes. Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries are used when possible. Minimally invasive surgeries are associated with quicker recovery times. In rare cases, liver transplantation may be used for select individuals with metastasized liver cancer.
Chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy may be used with surgery to treat or relieve symptoms of carcinoid cancer. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. There are different types of chemotherapy, and the drugs are usually given in cycles over time. Radiation uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy uses biological agents to boost the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
The experience of carcinoid cancer and cancer treatments can be an emotional one for people with cancer and their loved ones. It is important that you receive support. Some people find comfort in their family, friends, co-workers, counselors, and faith. Cancer support groups are another good option. They can be a source of information and support from people who understand what you are experiencing. Ask your doctor for cancer support groups in your area.
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