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    Cancer Health Center

    Take Care of Yourself With Neuroendocrine Tumors

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    By Susan Bernstein
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD

    From diet to exercise to tapping into a good support network, you can do several things to help yourself feel better when you have neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

    A lot depends on where your tumors are and the kind of symptoms they cause. For some folks, a rash and a headache are big issues. Others might have stomach trouble or gain or lose weight. And for just about everyone, finding a way to cut stress while you manage your health is a top concern.

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    No matter your priority, lifestyle changes can go a long way to keep your mind and body healthy.

    Skip the Wine and Cheese

    Some people with NETs have a group of symptoms called carcinoid syndrome. You may find that some kinds of foods and drinks trigger problems like flushing skin, painful gas and bloating, or severe diarrhea.

    If that happens to you, pass up treats like aged or blue cheeses, chocolate, red wine, and beer, says Vijay Shivaswamy, MBBS, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

    All those things are high in amines, compounds that affect your blood pressure or body temperature.

    "For these patients, changing the diet could lessen symptoms or even not trigger the symptoms to begin with," he says. "Amines can trigger carcinoid syndrome symptoms, so if you cut down on these foods, you may lessen attacks."

    Other foods high in amines include smoked meats like salami or sausage, pickled fish like herring, or fermented foods like miso or sauerkraut.

    If you cut back on wine or other alcoholic drinks, you can get some relief from skin flushing in particular, says Diane Reidy-Lagunes, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "Also, this disease tends to go to the liver too, so we ask our patients to restrain their alcohol use -- refrain or have very little."

    Some other diet tips that may help you ease your symptoms or feel better while you treat your disease:

    • Eat smaller, frequent meals.
    • Avoid fatty, greasy, or highly spicy foods.
    • Go for whole, natural foods over processed ones high in salt.

    A healthy diet can keep your strength and energy up while you get treatment for your tumor, Shivaswamy says. If you're going into chemotherapy, make sure to get enough calories and protein.

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    Who should not take SOMATULINE DEPOT?

    Do not take SOMATULINE DEPOT if you are allergic to lanreotide.

    What are the possible side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT?

    SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause serious side effects, including:

    • Gallstones. Tell your healthcare professional if you get any of these symptoms:
      • sudden pain in your upper right stomach area (abdomen)
      • sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades
      • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
      • fever with chills
      • nausea
    • Changes in your blood sugar (high blood sugar or low blood sugar). If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar as your healthcare professional tells you to. Your healthcare professional may change your dose of diabetes medicine.
    • Slow heart rate
    • High blood pressure

    The most common side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT in people with GEP-NETs include stomach area (abdominal) pain, muscle and joint aches, vomiting, headache, and pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site.

    SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause dizziness. If this happens, do not drive a car or operate machinery.

    What should I tell my healthcare professional before receiving SOMATULINE DEPOT?
    • Tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes or gallbladder, thyroid, heart, kidney, or liver problems.
    • Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as SOMATULINE DEPOT may harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SOMATULINE DEPOT passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare professional should decide if you will take SOMATULINE DEPOT or breastfeed. You should not do both.
    • Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. SOMATULINE DEPOT and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. SOMATULINE DEPOT may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how SOMATULINE DEPOT works.
    • Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, a cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune), a medicine called bromocriptine (Parlodel, Cycloset), or medicines that lower your heart rate, such as beta blockers.

    Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT. For more information ask your healthcare professional.

    You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-888-980-2889.

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