Neuroendocrine tumors are a rare type of tumors and these tumors arise from the neuroendocrine cells. The neuroendocrine cells have the properties of both neural as well as endocrinal (hormonal) cells. So these tumors are capable of releasing or secreting hormones as well as can work as nerve cells.
There are a lot of different types of neuroendocrine tumors but these can be categorized into two groups. One group called carcinoid tumors and other groups called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The carcinoid tumors arise in the organs like lungs, thymus, appendix and gastrointestinal tract. The pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are mostly seen in the pancreas. (1)
Coping Methods For Neuroendocrine Tumors
When you hear that you have neuroendocrine tumors, it is a hard thing to digest. It leaves the patient depressed and traumatized. It is a really difficult time for the patient as well as for the family members of the patient. But you need to keep it in mind that this is not the end of the world.
There are many people in the whole world who are diagnosed with cancer and still have a lot of courage to fight this disease. There are things that the patient can do, some things that the family members and loved ones can do and some things that the health care provider can do to make everything easier for the patient. Some important steps to be taken are mentioned below:
Understand What You Are Dealing With: First of all, the patient and the family members must be aware of the disease. You should know what type of neuroendocrine tumor you are suffering with. You must be aware of the treatment plan given by the doctor. If you don’t understand certain things, you must not hesitate to ask questions to your doctor.
Emotional Support: Along with the treatment given by the doctor, it is necessary that the patient must be stable mentally. Being emotionally stable can help you recover faster. You can join different support groups and talk with other patients suffering from the same disease so that you will get a clear idea of what’s going on. Sharing feelings with other patients with the same disease would feel very relieving and listening to their stories will also build up your courage. The family members must motivate the neuroendocrine tumors patient and always try to be positive. If the patient is depressed psychiatric counseling can be done in order to build up the mental health. (2)
Follow A Healthy Lifestyle: Even though proper diet and exercise cannot cure the disease but you must understand that having a properly balanced diet and getting proper exercise is really important for you to improve your health.
When you follow a proper diet and have exercise daily, you will feel better and healthy. If the patient is addicted to smoking cigarettes, he/she must quit it as soon as possible.
You can take multivitamin supplements in order to maintain the balance of all the vitamins in your body. (3)
Carcinoid syndrome is a condition found in patients who are diagnosed with carcinoid tumors or neuroendocrine tumors. It is seen in 5% of patients who are suffering from a neuroendocrine tumor. When the neuroendocrine tumor is seen in the gastrointestinal system, the tumor cells release serotonin into the blood circulation and this serotonin reaches the liver and gets metabolized. When the liver can no longer metabolize serotonin, it leads to carcinoid syndrome.
Following are the symptoms and signs are seen in patients with carcinoid syndrome:
Abdominal Pain: This occurs due to certain reactions occurring in the mesentery and also due to metastasis of the neuroendocrine tumor to the liver.
Flushing: Flushing of skin is said to be the most important clinical sign. The flushing is seen mainly over the head as well as the upper part of the thorax.
Diarrhea: Many times, the patient suffers from diarrhea due to carcinoid syndrome. Due to an increase in serotonin levels, it acts on the intestines and increases the peristalsis leading to diarrhea. You need to take good care of the patient otherwise, he/she may suffer from electrolyte disturbances and weakness and dehydration.
It is very difficult for any person to digest this huge news that he/she has neuroendocrine cancer. If the doctor and family members work as a team the patient can remain stable and can gain the courage to cope up with this disease.
The patient must know what he is suffering from and must be informed about the consequences of this disease.
Following a healthy lifestyle also helps a lot in managing the patient. There are many support groups that the patient can join in order to reduce stress and anxiety.
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- Is Neuroendocrine Tumor A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?
- Lifestyle Changes For Neuroendocrine Tumors
- What Is The Prognosis For Neuroendocrine Tumors?