Neuroendocrine cancers/tumors start in the neuroendocrine cells of the body. These cells are found in several parts of the body and display the features of both- the endocrine as well as the nerve cells. Neuroendocrine tumors may be benign or malignant, and there are several types. The types are classified according to the cells involved or the hormones these tumors make.(1)

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Where Is Neuroendocrine Cancer Located?

Neuroendocrine cancer/tumor is located in the neuroendocrine cells, which belong to the nervous as well as endocrine systems. These cells have the characteristics of both- the endocrine cells as well as the nerve cells.

  • Most types of neuroendocrine cancers/tumors are benign, while some may be malignant or cancerous.
  • They usually arise in the intestines and are known by the name carcinoids there.
  • However, they can also arise in pancreas, lungs and anywhere eels in the body, where neuroendocrine cells are present.(1)

Can Neuroendocrine Cancer Spread To The Bones?

The malignant types of neuroendocrine tumors can metastasize or spread to many different parts of the body, including bones. The other organ or part where neuroendocrine cancer/tumor usually can metastasize is liver(2)

Diagnosis Of Neuroendocrine Cancers/Tumors-

  • Your doctor will lead you through a thorough physical examination
  • He may also recommend a few tests to check for a tumor in your body.(3)

These tests may include-

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Blood Tests- These may help in identifying any hormonal changes in your body and whether they are very high or very low than what they should be.(3)

Urine Tests- These tests may also help in detecting hormonal changes in your body(3)

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CT Scan- CT scan is kind of a powerful x-ray scan, that will make detailed images of the insides of your body

This test may help in identifying and locating cancer/tumor(3)

MRI- MRI scan uses a magnetic field to make detailed images of the insides of your body. This test may also help in identifying and locating cancer/tumor in your body(3)

Octreotide Scan- In this method, a small dose of a radioactive chemical is injected intravenously in your body. Subsequently, you will lie down in a scanner and detailed images of the insides of your body will be captured. The chemical known as octreotide, used for this scan will adhere to the cells of most types of neuroendocrine cancers/tumors. The doctors will be able to identify those cells from the pictures, because of the radiation in the chemical.(3)

X-ray – X -rays are radiations in low doses to display the insides of your body(3)

Biopsy- In this method, a small piece of tissue is removed from your body, from the right area and sent for laboratory examination to identify or confirm cancer. The right area for removing the tissue for this test may be identified with the help of a CT scan or an endoscopy (a method in which a small tube with a camera is inserted in your digestive tract)(3)

Molecular Testing- In this test, the samples of tissue obtained for a biopsy are examined for certain proteins, genes, and other contents. The results of this test may help decide the course of your treatment.(3)

Conclusion

Neuroendocrine cancer/tumor is located in the neuroendocrine cells in your body. These cells belong to both- the endocrine system as well as the nervous system. These cells carry the characteristics of both- the endocrine cells and the nerve cells. The neuroendocrine tumor can be benign or malignant. If it is malignant, it may spread out of its site of origin and to different parts of the body, including bones. Neuroendocrine cancer/ tumor most commonly metastasize in the liver. There are various tests to identify and locate neuroendocrine cancer/tumor. Your doctor will be able to guide you through these tests and procedures.

References:  

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: July 22, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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