Neuroendocrine tumors(NETs) are a group of heterogeneous neoplasia having the origin in the cells of the endocrine systems. NETs are treated as a group because the cells of these neoplasm share common features, such as looking similar, having special secretary granules and produce biogenic amines and polypeptide hormones. Though relatively rare and slow-growing neoplasm, NETs collectively represent a major clinical problem. The incidence of NETs is increasing mainly due to better diagnosis over the years. There are 2.4 million patients living with NETs worldwide.
Different types of NETs
NETs include gastroenteropancreatic tumours (GEP-NETs), Phreocromocytoma, Small cell carcinoma of the lung, Merkel cell carcinoma, Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid and NETs of the lungs. GEP-NETs are present in the gastroentero systems such as the intestine, stomach and pancreas. NETs are classified as per their origin- foregut, midgut or hindgut depending on their embryonic origin. The secondary of NETs can be seen in several organs including the liver.
Diagnosis of NETs - Clinical diagnosis based on symptoms:
4. Intermittent abdominal pain
5. Thickening of lump in any part of the body
6. Gastrointestinal bleeding
8. Cardiac disease
9. Loss or gain of weight
10. Hyper or hypoglycemia
Most symptoms are unspecific and could arise from unrelated issues such as Irritable bowel syndrome, Ulcer, Thyrotoxicosis, Menopause, Neurosis, Asthma, Allergy and Alcoholism. The symptoms of NETs also vary and depend on the effect of the Amines, Polypeptides and Hormones they secrete.