What is a Neuroendocrine Tumor?
It is a rare hormone producing tumor that affects neuroendocrine cells and are present throughout the nervous and endocrine systems. Most of the time it is very slow growing and it is often difficult to diagnose. The patient may present with vague symptoms such as flushing, diarrhea, palpitations, cardiac disease or wheezing. Because of the difficulty in diagnosing these tumors, diagnosis is delayed on average of 10 years. There are many types of neuroendocrine tumors: • Carcinoid • Insulinomas • Adrenal pheochromocytomas • Gastrinomas • Glucagonomas • Ghrelinoma • Medullary carcinomas of the thyroid • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes • Pancreatic endocrine tumors • VIPomas (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide tumor). Where are neuroendocrine tumors located? Neuroendocrine tumors can originate anywhere in the body. Carcinoid tumors, however, are the most common detected and are usually found in the lungs or GI tract. How successful are the treatments? Neuroendocrine treatment is mu