Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs) are rare; therefore, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (RMCC) wants you to have all the information you need to be on the lookout for neuroendocrine cancer symptoms as well as the factors that could increase your risk. 

Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do. We recommend learning more about your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor so you can make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

There is no known cause for NETs and no avoidable risk factors have been found. However, the following factors may raise a person’s risk for developing a NET:

  • Race/ethnicity. Generally, NETs are more common in white people than black people.
  • Age. People of all ages can develop NETs, however, it is very rare in children. 
  • Gender. Women over men are more likely to develop NETs, however, the reason is unknown. 
  • Inherited syndromes. Certain hereditary conditions are associated with certain types of NETs. These syndromes can include Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2), and tuberous sclerosis complex.
  • Other medical conditions. Certain diseases can put people at greater risk of developing specific types of NETs.

The behavior of neuroendocrine cancer symptoms depends on the tumor location. Symptoms also depend on the tumor’s size, the type of hormones they secrete, and whether the cancer has spread to other body parts.

When rooted in the pancreas, neuroendocrine cancer symptoms vary wildly. Nonfunctional NETs often cause no symptoms. With functional NETs, some tumors lead to loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Others cause low blood sugars, anemia, shortness of breath, and tiredness. Yet others result in jaundice, weight loss, rapid heart rate, or weakness.

At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers we are committed to helping you battle neuroendocrine tumors by providing access to advanced, holistic care in a community-based setting. Together, we will develop a personalized treatment plan that will cover all your needs.