There is no safe way to prevent neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). However, screening specific genetic syndromes and looking for a family history of the disease might help prevent NETs. Moreover, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption might also help reduce the risk of NETs.
There is no safe way to prevent neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Some risk factors, such as family history, cannot be controlled. However, certain precautions can be followed to reduce the risk of neuroendocrine cancer.
Screening for Neuroendocrine Cancer
Cancer screening can help detect neuroendocrine cancer at an early stage when there is a greater chance of successful treatment, optimal results, and fewer side effects. These tests are usually done when the person is healthy and has no specific symptoms.
Oncologists are not only working to detect and diagnose neuroendocrine cancer early but are also developing additional tests to detect and diagnose NETs early, leading to better results and faster responses along with fewer side effects.
Screening for any family history of Neuroendocrine Cancer
A family history of multiple endocrine tumor type 1 (MEN1) syndrome or neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) syndrome may increase the risk of NETs. Multiple type 1 endocrine tumor (MEN1) syndrome is a risk factor for pancreatic NETs. Therefore individuals with a family history of neuroendocrine cancer are recommended for genetic screening of these genes and syndromes.
Screening for any underlying gastric conditions
Certain underlying gastric conditions that affect the acid production by the stomach, such as atrophic gastritis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or pernicious anaemia, might increase the risk for NETs. Unlike some cancers, screening for neuroendocrine cancer is not currently recommended1.
Smoking is an avoidable risk factor for the pancreas. Quitting smoking may help reduce the risk of neuroendocrine cancer.
Limit alcohol use
In some studies, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic NET. Although the relationship is still unclear, excessive alcohol consumption may lead to conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, associated with the increased risk of pancreatic NET2.
- 1.Neuroendocrine Cancer Prevention. The Ohio State University. Published 2022. Accessed March 2022. https://cancer.osu.edu/for-patients-and-caregivers/learn-about-cancers-and-treatments/cancers-conditions-and-treatment/cancer-types/neuroendocrine-cancer/prevention
- 2.Can Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Be Prevented? American Cancer Society. Published 2018. Accessed March 2022. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreatic-neuroendocrine-tumor/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20sure%20way,history%20can’t%20be%20controlled.