When you have neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), you can get a lot of different symptoms, from shortness of breath to headaches to cramps in your belly. Why the variety? It's all about location. Your tumors can show up in lots of places, and where they're growing makes a big difference to how you feel.
The trouble with finding NETs is they often don't cause symptoms at first. "Because some of these tumors can be so slow growing, they may actually not cause problems for a long time," says Emily Chan, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. "If something grows slowly, the other tissues and cells around it have time to accommodate it."
Incidence and Mortality
Estimated new cases and deaths from laryngeal cancer in the United States in 2014:
New cases: 12,630.
The larynx is divided into the following three anatomical regions:
The supraglottic larynx includes the epiglottis, false vocal cords, ventricles, aryepiglottic folds, and arytenoids.
The glottis includes the true vocal cords and the anterior and posterior commissures.
The subglottic region begins about 1 cm below...
Even if you do feel like something's not right, you might not connect it with NETs. "The symptoms can be vague," says Thomas O'Dorisio, MD, director of neuroendocrine tumor clinics at the University of Iowa. "So [the tumor is] often missed for a long time."
Ellen Reed, who lives in Alberta, Canada, learned this lesson firsthand. In 1996, she began to have diarrhea and her face got flushed. She thought her symptoms were due to the stress of caring for her mother, who'd had a stroke. She figured she'd feel better once her tension eased up. "My symptoms didn't go away," she says.
Reed didn't even consider it might be a NET until her brother, who'd been diagnosed with a type called a carcinoid tumor, said her symptoms sounded like his own. "He told me, 'Ellen, it's like reliving what I went through.'"
Types of NETs
These tumors affect a type of cell called a neuroendocrine cell. NETs can form anywhere in your body where you have those, and they're often named based on where they grow.
Carcinoid tumors are a type of NET that grows in the:
Digestive system: stomach, small intestine, colon, or rectum
Ovaries or testicles (rarely)
You may hear your doctor refer to carcinoid tumors as "well-differentiated." That's just a technical way of saying they look similar to normal cells under a microscope. They often grow slowly.
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
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.