The human body organs have several neuroendocrine cells. These cells are mostly found in the lungs and digestive system. Neuroendocrine cells produce hormones in the endocrine glands – thyroid and adrenal glands (What is NET Cancer?, n.d.). At times, these organs can develop tumors from the neuroendocrine cells, and then multiply as it spread to other body parts.
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Notably, tumor development occurs when special cells undergo various changes making them to disintegrate uncontrollably and form abnormal tissues (Neuroendocrine Tumors — Diagnosis and Treatment at Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Some of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are carcinoid tumor, insulinoma, pancreatic endocrine tumor, and medullary thyroid carcinoma. The symptoms that come with NET largely rely on an individual’s biological set up and the place where the disease has infested.
For instance, overall tiredness and digestive problems are experienced at the early stages of infection. For bronchial carcinoid, there is constant cough, wheezing, and bloody sputum. Intestinal carcinoid shows obstruction in the bowel, pain in the abdomen, and diarrhea. On the other front, insulinoma shows symptoms of low sugar level through sweating and nausea.
This type of cancer causes extreme negative conditions on a humans’ life. Specifically, NET can result to diabetes, which come due to insulin’s failure to absorb sugar into the blood stream (Neuroendocrine Tumor, 2012). This effect can be realized if NETs have shown features such as insulinoma and glucagonoma. In addition, massive weight loss, disturbance in balance of water in the body, and development of peptic ulcer disease are the consequences of NETs.
The disease can also cause pancreatic related diseases. When the disease attacks the pancreas, the normal function of this organ is disrupted. In the end, NETs can cause death. Excess acid in the stomach can also erode the parts of an individual’s stomach. An infection on the intestines can cause abdominal pain and complications in the ileum thus preventing sufficient food absorption.
This disease has some factors that facilitate or accelerate the entire tumors growth process in a human being. The first risk factor is age; older people tend to develop pheochromocytoma, which is another form of cancer (Cancer (General) – National Institutes of Health (NIH), n.d.). Secondly, family history is another risk factor. This factor is linked to hereditary affairs. For instance, tumors grow extremely fast under the influence of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1).
On the other hand, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) links with the medullary thyroid cancer and pheochromocytoma. In addition, ethnicity has a role in the spread of NET; for example, Merkel cell cancer mostly affects whites than the blacks. Since NET affects even the skin, sun exposure is, therefore, a great risk factor. The sun makes the skin to easily be peeled off. Immune system suppression also acts as a facilitator in the spread of NET.
Surely, a person who is having human immunodeficiency virus (IV) has high chances of developing neuroendocrine tumors (Kulke et al., 2011). These cases of tumor growth can be minimized. For pancreatic tumors, there is no preventive measure that is currently in place. However, for glucagonoma, a person should avoid direct sunlight that could make the skin to peel off easily.
People who suffer from NET can consume many greens in their diet. Fruits and vegetables help to eliminate toxins from organic foods that were consumed, as they have photochemical thus mitigating undesired growths (Summers, 2012). Foods full of protein, if consumed beyond the required limit, facilitate tumor growth.
Therefore, safe-eating habits as a form of life style can assist in reducing cases of NETs. Remarkably, watermelons, onions, and tomatoes have lycopene chemical that can prevent oxidative damaging; therefore, a good diet tries to reduce cancerous growths (Summers, 2012). From the steps outlined, a patient can employ such techniques not only to reduce the disease progress but also to improve his/her quality of life. In general, each person should know the nutrient content of foods he/she consumes.
In detecting some type of cancers, most health providers misdiagnose these diseases. This is due to the similarity that some of the NET’s cancers have in their symptoms. For example, signs noticed in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are similar to those of carcinoid tumors. At Mayo Clinic, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are extensively used in the treatment process.
Although there are promising steps towards NET’s treatment, wrong diagnosis is still arising. Under chemotherapy, only pancreatic tumors act in response to this therapeutic tool, while carcinoid tumors do not respond (Neuroendocrine Tumour, n.d.). Then, there is the radio ablation, which uses hot electrodes to destroy abnormal growths.
From the given perspective, NET treatment lies on a nutritional balance. This approach is easy to practice and reduces chances of wrong diagnosis. A current research is trying to distinguish clearly between two different types of NET (Kulke et al., 2011). The research is aiming at coming up with a specific drug for a specific type of NET.
This scenario will limit cases of misdiagnosis and even ensure that one drug treats only a specified disease. Further research should assist in distinguishing between two different unusual growths at their earliest stage possible.
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Cancer (General) – National Institutes of Health (NIH). Health Information – National Institutes of Health (NIH). Web.
Kulke, M. H, Siu. L. L, Tepper. J. E, Fisher. G, and Jaffe. D. (2011). Future Directions in the Treatment of Neuroendocrine Tumors: Consensus Report of the National Cancer Institute Neuroendocrine Tumor Clinical Trials Planning Meeting. Journal of clinical oncology, 29(7), 934 – 943. Web.
Neuroendocrine Tumor. (2012). Cancer.Net | Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Web.
Neuroendocrine Tumors — Diagnosis and Treatment at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Web.
Neuroendocrine Tumour. Health and Medical Information for Australia – Virtual Medical Centre. Web.
Summers, A. (2011). Nutrition can help battle cancer. Morning Calm, p. 2. Web.
What is NET Cancer?. Net Cancer Day. Retrieved from netcancerday. Web.