Medications used for containing carcinoid tumorBesides consideration to where the carcinoid tumor is located, the treatment given will also depend on how extensive the cancer has spread to other areas, types of hormones being secreted by the tumor and your overall health as well as your own preferences. A couple of treatments are available as discussed here below:


When the carcinoid tumor is detected early, surgery can be used to completely remove the tumor. In case the tumors are discovered when they have already advanced, it is not possible to remove them completely. Some surgeons will in certain cases try removing as much tumor as they possibly can in their efforts of controlling the signs and symptoms of the cancer.

Medications and drugs

A couple of medications are available for treating carcinoid tumor and include:

  • Drugs designed to inhibit secretion of hormones by the cancer cells. Such medications can really help a lot in reduction of the signs that come with carcinoid tumor syndrome while at the same time slowing the growth of the tumor. Lanreotide/ Somatuline Depot and Octretide/ sandostatin are two medications that are usually injected under the skin. These medications come with their share of side effects, which include bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  • Drugs designed to boost and enhance the immune system. Interferon alfa is an injectable medication given for treatment of carcinoid tumor. This medication usually works through stimulation of the immune system of the body which attacks the tumor. The medication helps in slowing down the growth of tumors while at the same time relieving the symptoms as well. Using interferon may result in some very serious side effects, which include flu like symptoms and fatigue.

Treating carcinoid tumor which has metastasized to the liver

It is very common for carcinoid tumor to spread to the liver and in this case, there are a couple of treatments that are available at your disposal.

  • Liver surgery- surgical procedure is done for removing a part of liver or hepatic resection to control the symptoms and signs that might be associated with liver tumors.
  • Inhibiting supply of blood to the liver tumors- there is a relatively new procedure known as hepatic artery embolization. In this surgical treatment, the doctor usually clogs the main artery of the liver, i.e. hepatic artery which cuts off the supply of blood to the cancerous cells which have metastasized to the liver. The healthy liver cells will survive by using blood from the other blood vessels.
  • Use of cold or heat to kill cancer cells- cancerous cells are also killed by using cold or heat. The use of radiofrequency ablation is used for delivering heat treatments to the carcinoid tumor thus causing the death of the liver cells. Freezing and thawing cycles are used for killing the cancerous cells.