Neuroendocrine Tumour: Know about its symptoms and treatment | PINKVILLA Prof. (Dr.) Mallika Tewari, Senior Consultant & Program Lead Surgical Oncology, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road shared in detail about Neuroendocrine Tumour aka NET. Read on to know.

Actor Irrfan Khan passed away in Mumbai after battling colon infection. He was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, 2 years back. Here, we brief you about the neuroendocrine tumour. Read on to know more about this. Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are thought to arise from cells throughout the diffuse endocrine system of the human body. They comprise a broad family of tumours that are in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (i.e. in stomach small intestine, appendix and rectum), lungs and bronchi, thymus, and pancreas. 

Less common sites include adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid the pitutary gland (latter in the brain).NETs are uncommon and account for about 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies. Some grow slowly while some tend to grow quickly. Did you know? Some NETs may produce excess hormones (functional NETs). While others do not release hormones or may not release enough to cause symptoms (those are nonfunctional NETs).

Symptoms of neuroendocrine tumour

One may exhibit symptoms of NETs depending on the location of the tumour and whether it produces excess hormones. The common symptoms are feeling fatigued, unintentional weight loss, and pain owing to a growing tumour. Due to excess hormones (functional tumours), one may also notice signs such as intermittent flushing & diarrhoea, hypertension, hypoglycemia, frequent urination, dizziness, and skin rash. Thus, immediately visit the doctor, in case you exhibit these symptoms.


Still, the exact cause of NETs is not known. Most NETs are sporadic and few are hereditary and a part of inherited genetic syndromes e.g. MEN-1; MEN-2 etc.

Risk factors 

People of all the age groups may suffer from these tumours. Though, it is rarely seen in children. Are you aware? Gastrointestinal conditions like atrophic gastritis can be the culprits. 


The line of treatment will depend on the stage, size and location of the tumour. The treatment may vary from person to person. Your doctor may ask you to go for surgery to get rid of the tumour. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy can also be given.