What is a pulmonary carcinoid/neuroendocrine tumor?
A pulmonary, lung or bronchial carcinoid is a rare tumor of the lung that arises from the cells lining the airways. These tumors are very different from the more common lung cancers seen in smokers and have a much better outcome in most cases with higher cure rates and much longer survival even when cure is not possible. Carcinoid tumors account for only 1 or 2 percent of lung cancers and come from the neuroendocrine cells, which are related to the production of hormones, or chemicals that regulate other parts of the body. They are most common in patients aged 40 to 60. Smoking is not a significant risk factor as it is for most lung cancers. Most carcinoids occur in the intestinal system (55%), but 25 to 30% occur in the lung or airway. They are very rarely familial or inherited (associated with a genetic predisposition) but may be associated with other hormone producing tumors in MEN1.