Digestive System Neoplasms

Carcinoid Tumors - Article

ABSTRACT: Carcinoid tumors are rare, slow-growing neuroendocrine neoplasms that often are indolent and may not become clinically apparent until there has been metastatic spread or evidence of carcinoid syndrome. Recent evidence has revealed that the overall incidence of carcinoid tumors has been steadily increasing, and although the disease was thought to be relatively benign, it is now considered one of increasing malignancy. Carcinoid tumors derive from different embryonic divisions of the gut: foregut carcinoid tumors commonly originate in the lungs, bronchi, or stomach; midgut carcinoid tumors in the small intestine, appendix, or proximal large bowel; and hindgut carcinoid tumors in the distal colon or rectum. Carcinoid syndrome, although rare, is most associated with midgut carcinoid tumors. The diagnosis of a carcinoid tumor often is coincidental with surgery performed for another reason. Treatment and prognosis are dependent on the location of the primary tumor and the degree and extent of metastasis at the time of diagnosis.

Evaluation and Management of Dyspepsia - Article

ABSTRACT: Dyspepsia, often defined as chronic or recurrent discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, can be caused by a variety of conditions. Common etiologies include peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. Serious causes, such as gastric and pancreatic cancers, are rare but must also be considered. Symptoms of possible causes often overlap, which can make initial diagnosis difficult. In many patients, a definite cause is never established. The initial evaluation of patients with dyspepsia includes a thorough history and physical examination, with special attention given to elements that suggest the presence of serious disease. Endoscopy should be performed promptly in patients who have "alarm symptoms" such as melena or anorexia. Optimal management remains controversial in young patients who do not have alarm symptoms. Although management should be individualized, a cost-effective initial approach is to test for Helicobacter pylori and treat the infection if the test is positive. If the H. pylori test is negative, empiric therapy with a gastric acid suppressant or prokinetic agent is recommended. If symptoms persist or recur after six to eight weeks of empiric therapy, endoscopy should be performed.

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now