Causes, risk factors of neuroendocrine tumours (part 2)

Published : 16 Oct 2021 08:27 PM | Updated : 17 Oct 2021 10:08 AM

The exact cause of neuroendocrine tumors isn't known. These cancers begin in neuroendocrine cells that have traits similar to those of nerve cells and hormone-producing cells. Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout your body. 

Neuroendocrine tumors begin when neuroendocrine cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. The DNA inside a cell contains the instructions that tell the cell what to do. The changes tell the neuroendocrine cells to multiply rapidly and form a tumor.

Some neuroendocrine tumors grow very slowly. Others are aggressive cancers that invade and destroy normal body tissue or spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Risk factors: 

The risk of neuroendocrine tumors is higher in people who inherit genetic syndromes that increase the risk of cancer. Examples include:

• Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1 (MEN 1)

• Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2 (MEN 2)

• Von Hippel-Lindau disease

• Tuberous sclerosis

• Neurofibromatosis

     Courtesy: Mayo Clinic

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