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.
July 10, 2012
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- Goldfinger SE, et al. Treatment of the carcinoid syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 30, 2012.
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