What is cancer?The body is made up of millions of different types of cells. Cancer happens when some of the cells multiply in an abnormal way. When cancer affects organs and solid tissues, it causes a growth called a tumour to form. Cancer can occur in any part of the body where the cells multiply abnormally.
Common examples of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)In the lungs: NETs in the lung represent a large proportion of all NETs. An example is a bronchial carcinoid.
In the digestive tract: commonly known as carcinoid tumours, these can be found in the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, appendix or bowel. Most produce abnormally large amounts of hormones.
In the pancreas: the different types of pancreatic NETs are named according to the hormone they produce. For example, insulinomas produce too much insulin and gastrinomas produce too much gastrin (a hormone that stimulates stomach acid secretion). These tumours cause symptoms.
There are also pancreatic NETs that produce hormones but are 'non-functioning', so they do not cause noticeable symptoms.
Around five people in every 100,000 are affected by neuroendocrine cancer in the UK, which is 3,000 new cases each year. Neuroendocrine tumours can affect people of all ages, both male and female.
Neuroendocrine tumours is the umbrella term for a group of unusual tumours that develop from neuroendocrine cells.
Neuroendocrine cells are specialised cells throughout the body that release hormones (chemicals) into the blood when they are stimulated by nerves.
Neuroendocrine tumours may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous) and are often slow-growing.
The cells most commonly affected by neuroendocrine tumours are found in the lung and digestive system, but these tumours can be found in many sites of the body, including the pancreas, ovaries and testes.
It is not yet fully understood what causes neuroendocrine tumours, but most are not inherited. However, it is still important to explore family history as there are some cases where the tumour may be inherited, such as in multiple endocrine neoplasia.
One type of neuroendocrine cancer is called carcinoid. Very often, the symptoms of carcinoid tumours are similar to other more common conditions. For example, a neuroendocrine tumour in the digestive system may cause diarrhoea, constipation and tummy pains, mimicking irritable bowel syndrome.
Because neuroendocrine tumours affect hormone-producing cells, they can cause abnormally large amounts of hormones to be released into the blood. Sometimes, the hormones they produce cause noticeable symptoms like flushing, cramps, asthma-like wheezing, heart problems and skin changes.
The outlook for neuroendocrine cancer depends on the type of cancer, how fast it is growing and how advanced it is when you are diagnosed. It should be a very individualised approach for each newly diagnosed patient.
If the cancer has been caught at an early stage and has not spread to other parts of your body, the tumour may be cured with surgery.
Unfortunately, many patients are diagnosed later on, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. However, with treatment, the disease and its symptoms can often be controlled for many years.
The Racecourse - Ascort Racecourse is a very beautiful place to visit. It is extremely posh with statues placed randomly across the outer limits of the course. The stands are backed and fronted by glass to from high up you can just look out across the magnificent racecourse. We all would have loved to have come here on a race day. You never no maybe another time.