Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
Diagnosis and Treatment of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors typically don’t cause symptoms until they become large enough to cause pain, weight loss, appetite loss or jaundice. Functional hormone-producing neuroendocrine tumors such as insulinomas can cause headaches, blurred vision, incoherent thoughts, sweating and rapid heart rate. Physicians measure hormone levels and other secondary effects to diagnose these tumors.
Neuroendocrine tumors are visible using high-quality CT scans, MRIs, endoscopic ultrasounds and octreotide scan, a non-invasive test to look for neuroendocrine tumor cells.
Surgeons sometimes can remove neuroendocrine tumors and often these operations can be performed laparoscopically. Unlike patients with adenocarcinoma, patients with a neuroendocrine tumor can sometimes benefit from an operation even if the tumor has spread.
How Can Houston Methodist Help?
Houston Methodist Hospital’s expert surgeons, gastroenterologists, oncologists and radiation therapists are highly skilled in diagnosing and performing surgery on patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Houston Methodist Hospital’s rates for surgical blood loss, operation duration, hospital stay length and survival are among the best in the nation.
Houston Methodist’s experts usually can perform these procedures in less than three hours. Patients often get out of bed the day after surgery, and half go home within seven days following their operations.Following surgery, some patients may require chemotherapy to kill tumor cells or medicine to control symptoms hormones produce.