Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs)
You might not know much about neuroendocrine tumors— and understandably so. Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare, accounting for less than one percent of all malignant disorders in the United States.
Neuroendocrine tumors form in cells that produce hormones. These cells, called neuroendocrine cells, can develop anywhere in the body, however, most occur in the digestive tract, pancreas, rectum, lungs, or appendix. In most cases, they are usually small in nature and grow slowly over many years.
In addition to being rare, neuroendocrine tumors are complex and can be difficult to diagnose. Because of this, the specialists at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers encourage you to gather and learn as much information about the disease as possible. Please take the time to read through the other pages on our website regarding neuroendocrine tumors.
At The Neuroendocrine Institute at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, we specialize in treating all types and stages of neuroendocrine tumors. Our NET cancer care team is both knowledgeable and experienced, with each physician considered a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of this rare and complex cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Neuroendocrine Tumors
As with many other cancers, neuroendocrine tumors don’t always cause signs and symptoms at first. If you do experience symptoms, they are typically dependent on the location of your tumor and whether it produces excess hormones.
Diagnosing Neuroendocrine Tumors
It’s important to understand that the diagnostic tests used to detect a neuroendocrine tumor will depend on a variety of factors such as the type of tumor, its location, whether it produces excess hormones, how aggressive it is, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
Types of Neuroendocrine Tumors
Being that neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare, it’s likely you don’t know much about them— including the fact that there are different types that are typically classified by the site of origin.
Staging Neuroendocrine Tumors
If you have been diagnosed with one or more neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), the next step will involve finding out the extent or spread of the tumor through a process called staging. This staging information is what will help your oncologist determine the best course of treatment for you.
Treatment Options for Neuroendocrine Tumors
Because neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare, treating them can be complex and varied— especially since treatment is dependent on various factors such as the type of tumor you have, its location, and whether you’re experiencing signs and symptoms of excess hormones produced by the tumor.
Causes & Risk Factors of Neuroendocrine Tumors
Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause cancer. There is no known cause for neuroendocrine tumors and no avoidable risk factors have been found. However, their are factors may raise a person’s risk for developing a NET.