Neuroendocrine Tumor: 5 Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

By | April 30, 2020
Neuroendocrine Tumor

Neuroendocrine tumors are an abnormal condition of neuroendocrine cells that is widespread throughout the body, such as the abdomen, intestines and lungs. Normally neuroendocrine cells (NET) produce hormones in the human body to control hair growth, se**x drive and mood.

This Tumor can be cancer and benign. Cancer tumors themselves are malignant, which means it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. While the type of benign tumor means tumors can grow, but will not spread.

Unlike tumors in general, neuroendocrine tumors grow slowly and take time for years. Often these tumors can disappear or shrink after receiving various treatments such as therapy.

WHO puts neuroendocrine tumors into three main categories, which emphasize tumor levels rather than anatomical origins. Neuroendocrine tumors are almost different from other tumor cells. The malignancy of the disease is uncertain, as it relies on neuroendocrine carcinoma.

Examples of neuroendocrine tumors include:

  • Carcinoid tumors of the lungs, intestinal tract or thymus.
  • Neuroendocrine Tumor of the pancreas, also known as islet cell cancer.
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma, also known as neuroendocrine skin carcinoma.
  • Pheochromocytoma of the adrenal glands.
  • Adrenal cancer.
  • Small cell carcinoma, generally appears in the lungs.
  • Large cell carcinoid tumors, most commonly attacking the lungs.
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.

Read also: Lung Tumor: Definition, Types, Risk Factors, and Possible Healing

Neuroendocrine Tumor Causes factors

Neuroendocrine Tumor Risk Factors

Neuroendocrine tumors are very rare and the cause is unknown. The Tumor is associated with the following factors:

  • Age: Most neuroendocrine tumors occur in patients over the age of 60.
  • Patients suffering from high risk endocrine neoplasia are exposed to neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Arsenic exposure, 
  • The disruption of metabolism, and
  • Immunity.

Symptoms of Neuroendocrine Tumor

Most of the cases, not accompanied by a specific symptom and its symptoms are inadvertently identified. When the doctor has found the tumor, the symptoms depend on the organ being attacked.

Usually the organs are attacked such as the lungs, digestive system, and pancreas. But, do not close the possibility of other organs. Meanwhile, 15 percent of the cases, not found the source of the tumor originated.

However, in certain cases,

  • Skin changes or
  • Blood sugar levels are unstable.

Nevertheless, the medical team agreed that the general symptoms of the NET include

  • Abdominal pain, cramps, bloating.
  • Changes in bowel movements,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Loss of appetite, and
  • Decreased weight without cause.
  • The face and neck are flushed without sweat
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Weak and easy to get tired
  • Voiced breath and cough
  • Swelling of the legs and ankles
  • Skin lesions, colorless skin parts, thin skin
  • Frequent urination, increased thirst, fast hungry (high blood glucose)
  • Shaking, dizziness, sweating, fainting (low blood glucose).

Patients who feel the symptoms should consult a doctor immediately. For early medical treatment efforts.

If the right way of treatment, the patient will feel safe in living life. Most importantly, you should also do the therapy to remove tumor cells, so as not to spread to other parts of the body’s organs.

Diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Tumor (Carcinoid)

Tests that examine signs of cancer are used for diagnosing neuroendocrine tumor and  stage. They may include:

  • Physical and historical examination.
  • Blood chemistry Studies.

Other tests used to diagnose neuroendocrine tumors are as follows:

Complete blood count (CBC):

A procedure in which blood samples are taken and examined for the following things:

  • Red blood cell counts, white blood cells, and platelets.
  • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in red blood cells.
  • Part of a blood sample consists of red blood cells.

Twenty-four hour urine test:

Tests in which urine was collected for 24 hours to measure the amount of certain substances, such as hormones. The number of unusual substances (higher or lower than normal) can be a sign of the disease in the organ or tissue that makes it. 

Urine samples are examined to see if they contain hormones made by carcinoid tumors. This test is used to help diagnose carcinoid syndrome.

Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy:

A type of radionuclide scan that can be used to find tumors. A small amount of radioactive octreotide (the hormone attached to the tumor) is injected into the blood vessels and moves through the blood. Radioactive octreotide attaches to tumors and special cameras that detect radioactivity are used to indicate where the tumors are in the body. This procedure is also called Ocreotid Scan and SRS Scan.

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