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Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of Colon : Presentation & Gross

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Neuroendocrine carcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract are high-grade tumors by definition and typically present at advanced stage. The patients are often younger (median age at diagnosis is 55 years) than those with colorectal adenocarcinoma. The presenting features include abdominal pain, obstruction, anorexia, weight loss, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea. Carcinoid syndrome is quite rare even with liver metastases.

The most common locations for neuroendocrine tumors in the large intestine are rectum and cecum. Larger tumors are more commonly seen in the proximal colon. They present as submucosal nodules with hemorrhage and necrosis and frequent ulceration of the overlying mucosa.

The image shows grayish-white subserosal tumor nodules in a case of neuroendocrine carcinoma of sigmoid colon. Image courtesy of: Jian-Hua Qiao, MD, Los Angeles, California, USA. Used with permission.

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