Neuroendocrine tumor treatment

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Neuroendocrine tumours are a group of neoplasms affecting neuroendocrine cells in many organs and tissues. However, most formations are found in the tissue of the stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, lungs, and thymus. Treatment options include surgical removal, hormone, target and chemotherapy.

A neuroendocrine tumour (NET) is a group of cancer cells that develop from the different parts of the endocrine and nerve systems. Today, scientists know 14 types of neuroendocrine cells, which secrete up to 40 various hormones:

  • Originating from the anterior parts - tumours of the thymus, lungs, bronchi, oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, pancreas;
  • Occurring in the middle parts of the primary intestine (the largest group) - the small intestine, appendix, right half of the colon;
  • Starting from the back of the embryonic intestine - tumours of the left half of the colon and rectum.

Common to all these cells is the production and supply of neurohormones. NETs are pretty rare, so they are the least studied. According to statistics, neuroendocrine tumours are found in 2-3 people per 100,000. After death, they are seen twice as often.

Cancer usually grows slowly, asymptomatically and causes various endocrine disorders depending on the hormones produced. Unfortunately, many NETs are discovered too late, which indicates the difficulty of diagnosing them. But the main feature is that the types and amount of active substances produced by the tumours can change.

One or other symptoms prevail depending on the type and localization of NET. Signs indicating it is worth contacting a doctor include erythemas (skin redness), frequent heartburn, pain, loss of appetite, digestive issues, etc.

The effectiveness and method of treating a neuroendocrine tumour depend on the type, localization and stage. NET with a low proliferative potential (non-aggressive course of the disease) is surgically removed. Treatment of cancer with a high proliferative potential (aggressive form) may include surgical intervention, hormones, targeted drugs and chemotherapy.

With timely diagnosis, patients live a long time and are often entirely cured. However, according to statistics, the disease is detected in 80% of patients in later stages, significantly worsening the prognosis.

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