There are several types of neuroendocrine tumors, which affect specialized neuroendocrine cells throughout the body. Each type of neuroendocrine tumor affects the body differently depending on the location of the tumor and the hormones it releases. Here are some common types of neuroendocrine tumors and the parts of the body they affect:
- Carcinoid tumors – lungs, thymus or GI tract
- Merkel cell carcinoma – Merkel cells in the skin
- Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors – islet cells
- Medullary thyroid carcinoma – thyroid gland
- Adrenal cancer – adrenal gland
How do neuroendocrine tumors affect the body?
Because neuroendocrine tumors can impact the way the body produces hormones, these tumors can have a number of long-term effects, which may include:
- Inadequate calcium levels, if the tumor affects the thyroid gland
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate, if the tumor develops in an adrenal gland
- Stomach pain, diarrhea and other digestive issues, if the tumor affects the GI tract
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), if the tumor affects the pancreas
- Weight gain or loss, if the tumor affects the thyroid gland
Managing the long-term effects of neuroendocrine tumors
Those who have questions about managing the long-term effects of a neuroendocrine tumor can request an appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center. Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, so our physicians have a unique level of experience treating all types of neuroendocrine tumors. In addition to recommending individualized treatment plans for all patients, we focus on helping our patients manage the side effects of their malignancies to provide them with an improved quality of life.