When treating carcinoid tumors and carcinoid syndrome, your doctor is most concerned with preserving your overall health and lifestyle. The goals of treatment are to remove the carcinoid tumor or reduce its size, and to help manage its impact on you.
The first choice in treating carcinoid tumors is often removing the tumor or reducing its size using surgery. However, if patients have severe carcinoid syndrome, it may mean that carcinoid tumors have metastasized to (spread into) the liver. In this case, some doctors may suggest a procedure called hepatic artery embolization—either with or without chemotherapy. Hepatic artery embolization decreases blood supply to the liver in an attempt to kill the tumor cells, which may lead to less discomfort from symptoms for 6 months to one year.
Your treatment may depend on the size of the tumor, whether or not it has spread, and where the tumor is located. Your healthcare professional will want to discuss all of these points with you.