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.