Neuroendocrine Tumour (NETs): All you need to know about disease

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Neuroendocrine Tumour (NETs): All you need to know about disease
Neuroendocrine Tumour (NETs): All you need to know about disease

Mumbai : Bollywood star Irrfan Khan on Friday revealed he has been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour and is going out of the country for treatment. Irrfan began his statement on Friday with an emotional quote by Margaret Mitchell "Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect."

"The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour as of now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope," the highly-acclaimed actor said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Irrfan Khan diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour, he reveals it via tweet

"The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes. As for the rumours that were floated, neuro is not always about the brain and Googling is the easiest way to do research;-) To those who waited for my words, I hope to be back with more stories to tell," the 51-year-old added.

His revelation about his condition comes days after the internationally known actor left fans, friends and colleagues worried by informing them via social media that his life had been shaken up by a "rare disease" and that he was "fighting for choices".

What is Neuroendocrine tumour(NETs)? 

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are neoplasms that arise from cells of the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems. Many are benign, while some are malignant. They most commonly occur in the intestine, where they are often called carcinoid tumors, but they are also found in the pancreas, lung and the rest of the body.

A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body if it is not found early and treated. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread. A benign tumor usually can be removed without it causing much harm.

A neuroendocrine tumor begins in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is made up of cells that are a combination of hormone-producing endocrine cells and nerve cells. Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout the body in organs such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines.

Neuroendocrine cells perform specific functions, such as regulating air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling how quickly food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. NETs are more common in people aged over 60. Some NETs may be called carcinoid tumours.

ALSO READ: Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan suffering from rare disease, is fighting for choices

Symptoms of Neuroendocrine tumors:

1. Tummy pain

2. Changes in bowel habits

3. Shortness of breath

4. Loss of appetite

5. Weight loss.

Types of Neuroendocrine Tumors:

There are many types of neuroendocrine tumors. This section focuses on 3 specific types: pheochromocytoma, Merkel cell cancer, and neuroendocrine carcinoma.

Pheochromocytoma: Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that begins in the chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland. These specialized cells release the hormone adrenaline during times of stress. Pheochromocytoma most often occurs in the adrenal medulla, the area inside the adrenal glands. 

Merkel cell cancer: Merkel cell cancer is a highly aggressive, or fast-growing, rare cancer. It starts in hormone-producing cells just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles. It is usually found in the head and neck region. 

Neuroendocrine carcinoma: Around 60% of neuroendocrine tumors cannot be described as anything other than “neuroendocrine carcinoma.” Neuroendocrine carcinoma can start in a number of places in the body, including the lungs, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.

Input from IANS