The symptoms of a neuroendocrine tumour vary depending on its type and location and whether it is functional or non-functional. Many of the neuroendocrine tumours are asymptomatic, even if they have metastasized, especially non-functional tumours that only cause symptoms at late stages, due to the large tumour size.
Functional tumours on the contrary often show clinical symptoms, as they produce an excess of hormones regulating different body processes. The symptoms they cause depend on the type of hormone they secrete – insulin, serotonin, gastrin, glucagon, etc., but they also have several symptoms in common.
Common symptoms of NETs
Here is a number of common symptoms for functional NETs:
• headaches, confusion
• trembling, anxiety
• eyesight changes
• weight loss, loss of appetite
• wheezing and coughing
• flushing and skin rash
• cramps, bleeding in the stomach
• high blood sugar
• anaemia, etc.
Symptoms depending on location
Other symptoms may appear depending on the organ where the tumour has developed. Thus, a neuroendocrine tumour in your digestive system can cause abdomen pain and discomfort, vomiting, changes in your bowel habits, etc. A lung tumour may result in breathing problems, chest infections, coughing, etc. and pancreatic tumours can cause jaundice.
Last updated: 07/03/2019