Neuroendocrine Tumours (NET) Cancer
A Rare Yet Serious Cancer
What is it?
Enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours are growths that have developed from endocrine cells in the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach, intestines and appendix) or the pancreas.
A Misdiagnosed or Undiagnosed Disease. NET of the GI tract and pancreas usually remains undiagnosed for years and patients are often misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Signs and symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain, along with wheezing, flushing and heart palpitations.
Carcinoid syndrome is often associated with NETs . Carcinoid syndrome occurs when cancerous neuroendocrine tumours called carcinoid tumours release proteins into your bloodstream, causing signs and symptoms, including diarrhea and flushing. Carcinoid tumours generally occur in the esophagus, stomach, intestines, appendix, and lungs.
Many Patients Are Diagnosed in Later Stages. As a result of the delay to identify these tumours, most patients are diagnosed while in the advanced stages of the disease, which often leads to a poor prognosis. According to the available statistics in Canada the incidence of NETs has increased to 5.86 cases per 100,000 per year.