Neuroendocrine tumors (NET)

Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) are caused by uncontrollable cell division of the endocrine system. These tumors may occur in several parts of the body, such as the small intestine, pancreas, or stomach, and are often hard to detect. We differentiate between NET (neuroendocrine tumors) and NEC (neuroendocrine carcinomas). Tumors called NET are further divided by grade varying from 1 to 3. This grade is determined by their growth speed: grade 1 tumors grow at a slower pace than grade 3 tumors. NEC tend to be more aggressive than NET and require different treatment, hence the distinction between the tumor types.

Find out more about the causes and symptoms, and the most commonly used diagnostic tests and treatment types for neuroendocrine tumors on this page.

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Causes and symptoms

Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) can cause different kinds of symptoms. A NET that developed in the intestines may cause stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea. A NET that developed in the lungs can cause coughing or fevers. You may also experience symptoms caused by the NET secretions, especially if metastases develop in the liver. You may experience hot flashes, diarrhea, stomach cramps, or vomiting, especially after drinking red wine. Most patients presenting with NETs experience fatigue and loss of appetite.

Diagnosis

The following diagnostic tests may be done to confirm or rule out neuroendocrine tumors (NET):

Treatment options

Your exact treatment options will depend on the tumor type and stage. Your overall health and shape will also affect your options. We will inform you about the process beforehand, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions. Your treatment will most likely consist of one or more of the following treatments: