Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carcinoid tumors : Part 1

A resource says that in the year 2000, world’s biggest health association, World Health Organization thrown a number of studies and conferences on the issues ofCarcinoid tumors.  It gives a new definition to the word ‘carcinoid’ and tried to distinguish between the condition of neuroendocrine tumors and the carcinoid tumors. This cancer also became an issue of study and research for the American Cancer Society. The Carcinoid tumors are actually those cancerous cells that can come and grow in any part of a human body. Generally, the cancer occurs in the small intestines, colon, rectum, stomach, appendix and even lungs. The other main factor is that theses cancers do not show any kind of severe symptom  in the initial stage , however, they can show severe results in the future when the cells grow completely inside the body. The patient who suffers with the disease can have an extra growth of an uncategorized hormone. The earlier symptoms can be skin flushing and diarrhea. Usually, these tumors occur in the neuroendocrine system.
Researches also says that this cancer condition do not occur due to any kind of toxins in the environment. Like for example the air pollution, tobacco eating, alcohol intake or even smoking. In the year 1907, a German Scientist in the University of Munich found the cancerous moles, which is known as karzinoide. He mentioned in his report that these moles look like Carcinoma. He also said that the cells look like malignant, however, their category is benign. Later, in the year 1914, these cells were studied by another scientist. They mentioned that these kinds of tumors appear from the ECL or enterochromaffin-type of cells inside the gut. In many cases, the cancerous cells are recognized through a process of surgery. The person who suffers with this health issue will have pain or cramp on the abdomen, flushing, wheezing or peripheral edema. The patient will also suffer with a deficiency, which is medically known as Niacin deficiency. This deficiency is related to dementia, dermatitis and diarrhea.
The severe form of this disease is Carcinoid syndrome. The patient suffers with this condition when the carcinoid tumors produce extra hormones unnecessarily and those hormones spread throughout the body. The tumors produce the hormones named as ‘serotonin’. The serotonin is actually one of natural chemical messengers of the human body. If these hormones enter into the lungs, gastrointestinal areas and even the skin, it results in carcinoid syndrome. Inside the body, the serotonin breaks down and separates into tiny parts and sections, these are called metabolites. According to the medical experts, the 5-HIAA or hydroxyindoleacetic acid is a most significant serotonin metabolite. The carcinoid  cells also have CgA or Chromogranin-A, which spread over the blood.

Signs and symptoms:-

It has been observed that these tumors generally do not show any kind of Carcinoid tumor symptoms unless their harmful hormones do not reach in the liver. As the hormones reaches inside the liver, it starts affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Usually the strong enzymes of liver shatter most of the serotonin and stop them from reaching in other parts of the body. However, the hormones after a particular time enters inside the other body tissues and start showing Carcinoid tumor symptoms and signs. The patients who suffer with the tumor will have a severe and frequent pain in the abdominal area, cough, obstacles in the normal bowel process, blood with cough, and pain in the rectal area, diarrhea, bleeding in from the rectal area, breathing problem, wheezing, symptoms of pneumonia, pain in the chest and severe redness on the face and neck.

Diagnosis and Test

The healthcare experts do the diagnosis for the carcinoid tumors   through a blood and urine test. Usually, the blood test reveals the volume of serotonin in the blood stream, if the patient has reached in a severe stage. The blood test is known as a Complete Blood Count or a CBC test. It verifies the level of red and white blood cells and the platelets. It also checks the level of hemoglobin and level of protein in the red blood cells.  The other tests like a chest X-ray or magnetic resonance imagine MRI scan or a computer tomography scan. A PET scan, which is known as positron-emission tomography also, is done as per the need. Many times, the physical experts insert some alcohol or calcium, pentagastrin or gluconate to pin the symptoms and have a proper Carcinoid diagnosis. However, this process can be little severe and is done with an intensive care. At times the test may show high level of neuropeptide , secretin or neurotensin. The physical expert may also suggest not having bananas, eggplants pineapples and walnuts, which are generally serotonin-rich food items before the tests are conducted.

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