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Carcinoid Lung Tumor (cont.)

Carcinoid Lung Tumor Causes

Unlike most lung cancers, no external environmental toxin (for example, tobacco smoke, air pollution, asbestos, radon) has been identified as a causative agent for the development of carcinoid lung tumors.

Carcinoid Lung Tumor Symptoms

About 25% of persons with carcinoid lung tumors are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) at the time of discovery. Most of the time, carcinoid lung tumors are found on a routine chest X-ray done for unrelated medical problems (referred to as an incidental finding).

The severity and range of symptoms depend on the size of the tumor and whether or not it produces hormones.

Persons with carcinoid lung tumors may complain of the following symptoms:

  • Cough that does not go away
  • Coughing up blood 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Fever (due to infection in the lung)

Sometimes the health care practitioner considers the possibility of a tumor only after treatment withantibiotics fails to cure a lung infection.

Although uncommon, symptoms of various endocrine syndromes (carcinoid syndrome) can be the initial indicator of carcinoid lung tumors.

The symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include the following:

  • Facial flushing (redness and a warm feeling that may last hours to days)
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Increased facial and body hair
  • Increased skin pigmentation

In persons with malignancy (rare), the presence of metastatic disease can produce the following:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/9/2016

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