The signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome depend on which chemicals your carcinoid tumor secretes into your bloodstream. The most common signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include:

  • Skin flushing. The skin on your face and upper chest feels hot and changes color — ranging from pink to red to purple. Flushing episodes may last from a few minutes to a few hours or longer. Flushing may happen for no obvious reason, though sometimes it can be triggered by stress, exercise or drinking alcohol.
  • Facial skin lesions. Purplish areas of spider-like veins may appear on the nose and upper lip.
  • Diarrhea. Frequent, watery stools sometimes accompanied by abdominal cramps may occur in people who have carcinoid syndrome.
  • Difficulty breathing. Asthma-like signs and symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath, may occur at the same time you experience skin flushing.
  • Rapid heartbeat. Periods of fast heart rate could be a sign of carcinoid syndrome.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that concern you.

Jul. 10, 2012

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