NET is an abbreviation of Neuro-Endocrine Tumor. These tumors develop from the neuroendocrine cells present in every human body. An uninhibited cell growth leads to the development of a clump of cells. This is called a lump or tumor. A malignant tumor destroys other cell structures and penetrates other tissues or organs, and is called cancer. Although the tumor can develop everywhere in the body, it is most common for neuroendocrine tumors to develop in the small intestine, in the pancreas or in the lungs. NET is a rare and malignant form of cancer. The cause of it is (not yet) known.
Mainly grade 1 and 2 tumors are treated with PRRT.
NET in 3 Gradations
NET can be categorized into three grades:
- Grade 1: Slow growth rate.
- Grade 2: Moderate growth rate.
- Grade 3: Rapid growth rate, agressive (also called NEC: neuroendocrine carcinoma).
It is important to know which grade NET you have. It can then be decided which treatment is useful and what the chances of success are. To determine the grade, a biopsy (a piece of tissue) is taken. With PRRT mainly grade 1 and grade 2 tumors are treated. Grade 3 tumors are most often treated with chemotherapy.
NET Symptoms en Cure
NET is a rare form of cancer. It is so rare that, on average, a general practitioner only encounters 1 or 2 patients with this form of cancer during his career. The symptoms are therefore not always recognized directly. Indeed, the symptoms often resemble innocent illnesses such as asthma, menopause, an irritated intestine or even flu. This is also the reason why NETs have often already spread by the time they are found. NETs are not only infrequent, every NET is different.
Possible Symptoms of a NET:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Full recovery from this form of cancer is only possible if the tumors can be completely removed through an operation. Unfortunately, these rare tumors are often only discovered when they have already spread throughout the body. In order to determine if this is indeed the case, scans and other diagnostic procedures are used.
If a cure is no longer possible, there are still treatments which focus on lengthening and increasing the quality of life. An example of this type of treatment is PRRT. Choosing NET treatment depends on a few things. Read more about the treatment.
Choosing NET treatment
When a NET is diagnosed, it is of vital importance to go to a specialist who has vast experience and who treats many patients with PRRT. The PRRT Treatment Center Rotterdam is still one of the few Centers of Excellence worldwide where PRRT is applied. Since developing this treatment in 2000, over 1300 patients from the Netherlands and abroad have been treated with PRRT at our center, often with good results.