What are Carcinoid Tumours of the Colon?
Carcinoid tumours of the colon are a type of neuroendocrine tumour that originates from the hormone-producing cells of the colon. These tumours are relatively rare, particularly in the colon, as they are more commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, or appendix. Colon carcinoid tumours are slow-growing and can produce hormones, but they often do not cause symptoms until they are large or have spread.
Symptoms of carcinoid tumours in the colon may include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- In advanced stages, carcinoid syndrome may occur, characterized by flushing, diarrhea, wheezing, and heart palpitations, although this is rare for colon carcinoids.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of carcinoid tumours is not well understood. Genetic factors may play a role, and certain hereditary conditions, like multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), are associated with an increased risk.
Diagnosing carcinoid tumours of the colon typically involves:
- Colonoscopy: To visualize the tumour and perform a biopsy.
- Imaging Tests: Such as CT scans, MRI, or PET scans to assess the extent of the disease and look for metastasis.
- Urine and Blood Tests: To measure hormone levels that may be elevated in carcinoid syndrome.
- Biopsy: Examination of a tissue sample is crucial for a definitive diagnosis.
Treatment for carcinoid tumours of the colon may include:
- Surgery: The primary treatment method is to remove the tumour, often with a segment of the colon.
- Chemotherapy: Used for advanced or metastatic carcinoid tumours.
- Hormone Therapy: To address symptoms of carcinoid syndrome and slow tumour growth.
- Targeted Therapy and Radiotherapy: In some cases, particularly for tumours that have spread.
What support can we give for the Carcinoid Tumours of the Colon?
Carcinoid Tumours of the Colon is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Carcinoid Tumours of the Colon, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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