Signs & Symptoms of Neuroendocrine Tumors
As with many other cancers, neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) 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. It’s important to keep in mind that having one or more of the symptoms below doesn’t necessarily mean you have a NET. In fact, many of these symptoms are often caused by other conditions. Regardless, it is wise to see your doctor so he or she can make a diagnosis and treat, if needed.
The most common symptoms associated with neuroendocrine tumors can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Intense skin flushing
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Heart palpitations
Because of the rarity of the disease many physicians are not knowledgeable about or experienced with neuroendocrine cancer so the correlation between this disease and the persistence of these symptoms is often not made. According to The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, more than 90% of all midgut carcinoid/NETs are incorrectly diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease and as a result, patients suffer for years without answers.