Neuroendocrine cancers are cancers of the places where the endocrine system and the nervous system work together. Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout the body including the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. They perform specific functions, such as regulating the air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling the speed at which food is moved through the gastrointestinal tract.
Neuroendocrine tumors, often called carcinoid tumors, are abnormal growths of tissue whose cells secrete higher-than-normal amounts of hormones into the bloodstream and cause the nervous system to function abnormally.
Experts at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center understand neuroendocrine tumors and work as a team to design the best treatment plan. A typical team is made up of surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists, as well as social workers and nurses. Treatment plans may include:
- Hormone therapy
- Immunotherapy (biological therapy) - works to boost, direct, or restore your body's natural defenses against disease
- Radiation therapy