What is neuroendocrine cancer?

A neuroendocrine tumor begins in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system. These cells are found throughout the body including the lungs, stomach and intestines. Neuroendocrine cells perform specific functions, such as regulating air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling how quickly food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. The pancreas is also a common site for neuroendocrine cancer to originate.

More information about neuroendocrine cancer (American Society of Clinical Oncologists)

What neuroendocrine cancer is not

Neuroendocrine cancer begins in cells in the body’s neuroendocrine system, including the gastrointestinal tract. This type of cancer should not be confused with other gastrointestinal cancers such as stomach, pancreas, GIST, liver or colorectal because these cancers can have different symptoms, outlooks, and treatments.

Common types of neuroendocrine cancer

  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma – can start in a number of places in the body, including the lungs, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Pheochromocytoma – a rare tumor that begins in the adrenal gland, which releases the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. This type of tumor may release large amounts of adrenaline into the bloodstream after injury.


It’s possible that you could have one or more of the following tests (but not all of these will apply to your condition):

  • Biopsy
  • Imaging (CT scan, gallium PET scan)
  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests


Depending on your unique set of conditions, your treatment could include one or more of the following treatments (but not all of these will apply to your condition):

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

Your full team of care providers will work closely together to review your diagnostic tests, identify the best course of treatment particular to you, and help you understand your diagnosis and what to expect with any treatment you have.