Neuroendocrine tumors often start within the specialized body cells belonging to the neuroendocrine system. These cells come with the traits of the cells responsible to produce hormones and endocrine cells. They are available in different organs of the body and help in controlling most of the physical functions.

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What Happens To Untreated Neuroendocrine Tumors?

As we know that neuroendocrine tumors grow consistently, hence, if you leave it untreated, the formed tumor and surrounding cells not only grow in size but also spreads to other parts of your body. Hence, to avoid any unpleasant situations, you should immediately undergo with your diagnoses and treatment options available.(1)

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When To Go To Doctor For Neuroendocrine Tumors?

If you found any lump formed on any area of your body, it may indicate the problem of neuroendocrine tumor. In this situation, you should definitely consult your doctor. In addition, you have to check a few of the essential signs and symptoms to identify whether they match with the symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors. If two or more symptoms match with NET symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and oncologist both.

Even though neuroendocrine tumors may take place in almost every part or area of the body, in most of the cases, they take place in-

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Lungs: Lungs are one of the common locations to cause neuroendocrine tumors. Approximately 30percent NETs take place within the bronchial system responsible to carry air towards the lungs. Doctors refer to lungs neuroendocrine tumors as carcinoid tumors.

GI i.e. Gastrointestinal Tract: Neuroendocrine tumors develop mainly within the gastrointestinal tracts, especially within the small intestine, large intestine, and appendix. Gastrointestinal tracts have centralized roles to digest liquid and food items, while to produce waste products.

Pancreas: About 7percent of neuroendocrine tumors develop within the pancreas i.e. a pear-shape gland present within the abdomen between the spine and the stomach. Doctors refer to pancreas neuroendocrine tumors as islet cell tumors.

Common Symptoms in Neuroendocrine Tumor Patients

Depending on the specific type of neuroendocrine tumor, any individual may experience the following signs and symptoms related to the respective tumor.

  • General Symptoms of Tumor/Cancer
  • Appetite loss
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

Symptoms According to the Size and Location of the Tumor

  • Persistent level of pain in the affected area
  • Formation of a lump or thickness in any specific part of the patient’s body
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Changes in bladder or bowel habits
  • Hoarseness or cough, which fails to go away easily
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding problems
  • Jaundice i.e. yellowing of the patient’s skin and whitening of the eyes.

Symptoms Associated with the Hormones Release

  • Flushing of the face often without sweating problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperglycemia i.e. spike in the level of blood glucose, which further results in increased hunger and thirst, along with frequent urination
  • Hypoglycemia, which leads to a reduction in blood glucose levels and in turn, causes nervousness, fatigue, dizziness, shakiness, sweating, lightheadedness, fainting and seizures.
  • Skin rashes
  • Gastric ulcer problems
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion

Other than this, a few of the patients also suffer from protein, niacin and other types of nutritional deficiencies.(2)

References:  

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: August 23, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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