Neuroendocrine Tumors Treated by Expert Cancer Doctors in Baltimore

The Neuroendocrine Tumor Center at Mercy in Baltimore offers medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, gastroenterologists and other specialists to diagnose and treat neuroendocrine tumors, also be referred to as NETs or carcinoid tumors. Our doctors are recognized experts who provide patients with the latest diagnostic techniques and therapeutic options to treat neuroendocrine tumors.

Neuroendocrine Tumors: Diagnosis & Treatment Options - Dr. Sandy Kotiah - Mercy

Mercy Medical Center's Dr. Sandy Kotiah, Director of The Neuroendocrine Tumor Center, discusses diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. Symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping; reddish spots on the face, chest and arms; bluish spots on the skin; heart palpitations; weight gain or loss; unstable blood pressure and unstable blood sugar. Learn more at
About Neuroendocrine Tumors

The neuroendocrine system consists of the nervous system and the endocrine system. Both systems are made of neuroendocrine cells that are located throughout your body. Neuroendocrine cells can sometimes turn into cancer and become neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). These tumors are cancerous (malignant), range in size and differ in their rate of growth. NETs are generally slow growing and can sometimes produce excess hormones. There are also fast growing and aggressive neuroendocrine tumors.

Neuroendocrine tumors are rare (often referred to as an orphan disease), hard to find and difficult to diagnose. It is important to seek a doctor who is knowledgeable about neuroendocrine tumors to ensure a proper and timely diagnosis.

A neuroendocrine tumor often begins in the digestive tract, in particular the pancreas, as it has more neuroendocrine cells than any other part of your body. NETs also can be present in the appendix, lungs, ovaries, rectum, small intestine and testes.

Types of Neuroendocrine Tumors

There are many specific types of neuroendocrine tumors. They include the following:

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) typically do not show signs until they have grown and spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin rash
  • Flushing

Your symptoms may depend on the location and type of neuroendocrine tumor (functional or nonfunctional).

Functional NET – releases hormones that cause your symptoms.

Non-Functional NET – does not discharge hormones and produces symptoms like pain as the tumor develops

NET Location – the location of the NET can contribute to the types of symptoms

Your doctor may find neuroendocrine tumors during a routine exam or during surgery for another condition. Your doctor may order a number of tests to support the diagnosis including:

Treatment Options for Neuroendocrine Tumors

Possible treatment options for neuroendocrine tumors may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemoembolization
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Radiotherapy
  • Targeted radionuclide therapy, including PRRT - Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy
  • Medications
  • Clinical Study
  • Your doctor also may recommend incorporating a healthy lifestyle plan to help with your treatment. Some healthy lifestyle changes include:
    • Diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
    • Regular exercise
    • Plenty of rest
    • Prevent stress
The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy offers treatment for a wide range of cancers, relying on advanced technologies, compassionate care, leading edge research, clinical trials, and demonstrated medical expertise to provide some of the best treatment options available to fight cancer and restore hope and vitality.