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Neuroendocrine Cancer Treatment on the Gulf Coast

Neuroendocrine cancer affects the body’s endocrine system. This system is made up of neuroendocrine cells throughout the body which communicate the needs of the body and directions to its different parts through the transfer of hormones. Neuroendocrine tumors sometimes arise in these cells and can harm the body’s communication. Infirmary Cancer Care, located in Mobile and the Gulf Coast region, exists to help you heal from such cancers and provide you cancer care that will give you the most likely chance to get well again.

Speak to one of our specialists today to get more information about how your neuroendocrine cancer can be treated.

Symptoms & Risks

Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are often accompanied by severe symptoms since the cancer cells often continue to produce hormones. These symptoms vary widely and depend greatly on what type of hormone the cancer cells are producing and how much of it. If the neuroendocrine cell has stopped producing hormones the most common symptoms will relate to the effects the tumor has on surrounding organs. Since these types of tumors most often occur in the intestinal or abdominal area, the symptoms most often relate to decreased functioning of the intestinal system. Carcinoid syndrome sometimes occurs in patients with tumors in the small intestine and liver. In this situation, the neuroendocrine cells continue to function but create a glut of the hormone serotonin. This causes a bodily reaction that includes being flush, wheezing and at times abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

The risks of developing NET are somewhat varied but Caucasian individuals seem to be at a slightly greater risk. Women also seem to have a slightly higher risk. Also, individuals with stomach or intestinal issues seem to be at a greater risk of NET developing. Some genetic traits make certain individuals more likely to develop NET.

Diagnosis & Staging

Because NET symptoms are often veiled as other more common gastrointestinal problems, this type of cancer has little to no symptoms for a prolonged period. The tumors are usually found either when symptoms appear or when the tumor shows up on an unrelated imaging appointment. The tumors can either be slow-growing or grow at an extremely fast rate. While slow-growing tumors are much more common, your doctor should test them to determine this. To determine how fast the tumor will grow the doctor will perform a biopsy and then examine the sample. Using the mitotic rate and Ki67 rate, the doctor will determine how fast the tumor cells are multiplying. Using this calculation, the doctor will classify the tumor as low, intermediate or high and use this to determine what the best way to treat cancer is. This replaces more standard staging for other cancers.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options for NET. These can include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. However, the type of treatment depends on how the doctor classified the tumor during diagnosis. While tumors that fall into the high category often are treated through chemotherapy, tumors that are deemed to be intermediate or low are often removed through surgery. However, given the process and sensitive nature of the tumor and surrounding area, a team is usually needed to provide proper treatment. This is especially true if surgery will be performed around a sensitive organ. This is why Infirmary Cancer Care uses a treatment team to assist your specialist in formulating and providing you treatments. Chemotherapy and radiation seek to shrink and dispense with larger tumors so that surgery may be performed or so that it can be gotten rid of entirely.

Whatever treatment you need, Infirmary Cancer Care can help! Call (251) 435-2273 today.

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