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Lung Carcinoid Tumor Vs Common Lung Cancer: Understanding The Difference

04 Apr, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team


Being one of the common cancer ailments, you have heard of lung cancer. But you may wonder what a lung carcinoid is, what are the cancer symptoms and how they are different from lung cancer and how do you know if you or anyone you know has one. In this blog, we will discuss the same with our eminent cancer specialists in India. Continue reading to know more.

What is a lung carcinoid tumor?

Carcinoid means ‘cancer-like’. A lung carcinoid tumor is a cancerous tumor composed of neuroendocrine cells. The lungs, like the rest of the body, contain these cells.

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They are similar to endocrine cells as they both produce hormones or hormone-like compounds.

What is lung cancer, anyway?

Like all other cancers, lung cancer also happens due to the uncontrollable growth of its cells. Their abnormal growth invades the surrounding tissues, organs, and another part of your body as well. And they have the potential to be malignant enough.

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Understanding the difference between the two-

An early diagnosis or a thorough screening test is possible in lung cancer to detect the initial symptoms.

Carcinoid tumors grow slowly unlike lung cancer cells. And rarely only 1%-2% of lung cancers are lung carcinoid tumors.

However, the symptoms one may encounter are almost similar in both of them. A carcinoid syndrome may develop due to hormonal disturbances and can cause flushing.

The reason for developing a carcinoid tumor is still unknown. You may get carcinoid tumors at any age. However, due to its slow-growing potential, you may not get any symptoms at an early age(if you have any). The symptoms are mostly diagnosed in people aged around 45-60 years.

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How will you know whether you are suffering from a lung carcinoid tumor or not?

In lung carcinoid tumors, you may or may not have any symptoms. This has been diagnosed during a routine check-up. Your doctor may suggest some tests to confirm the diagnosis that includes-

  • Chest X-ray- this one is the first recommended test to detect any spot or abnormality inside the lung.
  • CT scan- a specialized kind of X-ray, mostly advised along with a biopsy.
  • Biopsy- the doctor will take a small part of tissue for specific lab tests. The test reports will confirm whether any cancer cells are present in the tumor or not.
  • Bronchoscopy- a thin, flexible tube is inserted through your mouth. You will be put to ‘sleep’ with anesthesia to avoid any gag reflex. Your doctor will see through the tube to find the tumor.

Bronchoscopy can also be used to take out a lung tissue sample for biopsy.

  • PET scan-An IV is used to inject a specific radioactive substance into a vein prior to the test. This chemical goes through your bloodstream and is drawn to cancerous spots. Then, using a special camera, photos of your insides are captured.

If cancer is present, the material appears as "hot spots" where the malignancy is present. This test is important if your doctor suspects that cancer has spread but is unsure where.

  • Routine blood tests- these blood works are necessary for your doctor to get an overall picture of your health. So that he/she can plan your treatment accordingly.

What are the symptoms of lung carcinoid tumors?

One-fourth of the people suffering from this disease are symptomless. You may suffer from the following cancer symptoms that include-

  • Chronic cough
  • Wheezing
  • Blood in the sputum
  • Airway obstruction leads to difficulty in breathing and
  • Post-obstructive pneumonia

How to treat lung carcinoid tumors?

Except in cases when the tumor has migrated to other organs, many lung carcinoid tumors can be treated with surgery alone.

Palliative surgery may be used to remove the majority of the tumor or reduce symptoms in circumstances where the carcinoid cannot be entirely eliminated.

  • Lobectomy- This form of surgery involves the excision of a lobe, which is a section of the lung.

It can be used to remove a carcinoid tumor from the periphery of the lung(one that is located at the edge of the lungs). During a lobectomy, one of the lung's lobes is removed. A bilobectomy includes the surgical removal of two lobes.

  • Segmentectomy- if the carcinoid tumor is limited to only part of one lobe, then this procedure is being performed.
  • Wedge resection- if the tumor has involved a small wedge-shaped portion of the lung.
  • Removal of lymph nodes- During the operations described above, the lymph nodes around the lungs are frequently removed to see if the tumor has spread to these nodes and, if so, to limit the chance of the tumor spreading to other parts of the body.

Other than surgery chemo and radiotherapy can also help alleviate cancer symptoms.

Life after treatment for lung carcinoid tumor:

In general, the prognosis is excellent. People who have been treated for carcinoid tumors have a five-year survival rate of 85 percent to 95 percent.

As carcinoid tumors can recur, like lung cancer, it's critical to plan regular follow-up visits with your healthcare team after treatment. You should check in with your service provider for surveillance. If you start to notice any different symptoms, such as trouble breathing, weight loss, flushing, or pain, contact your doctor right away.

Why should you consider getting lung carcinoid tumor treatment in India?

India is the most favored place for cancer treatment operations for a few major reasons. And if you are searching for the best cancer hospital in India, we will help you out to find the same.

  • India's cutting-edge techniques,
  • Advanced medical diagnostic equipment
  • Cancer research studies
  • Successful clinical trials
  • medical skills, and
  • Lung surgery costs in India are among the best in the world, as our patients need affordable and quality outcomes.

All these have significantly increased the success rate of cancer treatment in India.

Conclusion-By simply packing their medical journey to India, cancer treatment can substantially benefit the patient. From providing quality treatment to the affordable cost of lung surgery we will be there with you during your medical journey. We also offer a comprehensive range of counseling for coping with emotional challenges to our international patients.

How can we help in the treatment?

If you are in search of a cancer treatment hospital in India, we will serve as your guide throughout your treatment and will be physically present with you even before your treatment begins. The following will be provided to you:

  • Opinions of expert physicians and surgeons
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance in hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangement for travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are dedicated to offering the highest quality health care to our patients. We have a team of highly qualified and devoted health professionals that will be by your side from the beginning of your journey.

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A lung carcinoid tumor is a rare type of neuroendocrine tumor that originates from the lung's neuroendocrine cells.