What are GEP-NETs?

GEP-NETs are a rare form of cancer, mostly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or gut. GEP-NETs start in certain cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is made up of both nerve cells and hormone-producing cells. These cells help control many functions in the body, like how quickly food moves through and how food is digested by the GI tract.

tooltip close The stomach and intestines. The gastrointestinal tract is part of the digestive system, which also includes the salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and rectum.
tooltip close Having to do with the interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system. Neuroendocrine refers to certain cells that release hormones into the bloodstream in response to nervous system stimulation.

How are GEP-NETs discovered?

Many people with GEP-NETs often don’t have symptoms. And if their tumor is discovered, it’s often by chance. For others, symptoms can begin to arise due to the tumor’s growth.

Most GEP-NETs grow slowly, and if they do cause symptoms, those symptoms can be hard to pinpoint because they may seem like other conditions. Because of this, doctors are likely to explore other, more common diagnoses first. This can slow down a correct diagnosis—in some cases for several years.

Signs and symptoms of GEP-NETs can include:

  • Cramps or abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Flushing

In some cases, patients with GEP-NETs experience a group of symptoms known as carcinoid syndrome.

How are GEP-NETs discovered?

Many people with GEP-NETs often don’t have symptoms. And if their tumor is discovered, it’s often by chance. For others, symptoms can begin to arise due to the tumor’s growth.

Most GEP-NETs grow slowly, and if they do cause symptoms, those symptoms can be hard to pinpoint because they may seem like other conditions. Because of this, doctors are likely to explore other, more common diagnoses first. This can slow down a correct diagnosis—in some cases for several years.

What are some of the possible risk factors for GEP-NETs?

Risk Factor of GEP-NETs: Family History

A family history of cancer can be a risk factor for GEP-NETs.

GEP-NETs risk factor: history of diabetes mellitus

A long-term history of diabetes mellitus, particularly in women, is another possible risk factor for gastric NETs.

GEP-NETs risk factor: history of diabetes mellitus

An increased risk of gastric NETs in women who have both diabetes and a family history of cancer suggests that women may be more prone to NETs, genetically, than men.

Somatuline® Depot may be an option for people with certain GEP-NETs to discuss with their doctor

What is carcinoid syndrome?

A group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors

Some NETs are considered carcinoid tumors. Certain carcinoid tumors release hormones into your bloodstream and cause carcinoid syndrome.

What symptoms are included with carcinoid syndrome?

Two of the most common symptoms are diarrhea and flushing.

Somatuline Depot may be an option for people with carcinoid syndrome to discuss with their doctor

tooltip close Slow-growing tumors usually found in the GI system, most often in the small intestine and rectum, and sometimes in the lungs or other parts of the body.
Carcinoid Syndrome Symptoms & Triggers

Many people with carcinoid tumors find that things like stress, heavy exercise, and drinking alcohol can trigger symptoms of carcinoid syndrome.

Not all carcinoid tumors cause carcinoid syndrome

Not all carcinoid tumors cause carcinoid syndrome. For example, rectal carcinoid tumors usually don’t make the hormone-like substances that cause symptoms.

How Carcinoid Syndrome Occurs

Most cases of carcinoid syndrome only occur once the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Talking to your doctor about GEP-NETs and Carcinoid Syndrome

Active dialogue

It’s important to work closely with your medical team at every step of your GEP-NETs and/or carcinoid syndrome diagnosis and treatment.

Explore Resources & Support to help you work with your medical team

Reminders and discussion points

  • Check in with your medical team about any side effects and to monitor your overall health
  • Attend regular physical examinations and/or medical tests
  • Side effects can sometimes linger beyond the treatment period, and “late effects” may develop months or years afterward. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risk of developing these side effects

by learning about a treatment option for people with certain GEP-NETs and/or carcinoid syndrome to discuss with their doctor