What is LungNets?
Lung Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a type of lung cancer and are classified into four different categories with different courses. These are an uncommon type of tumor that start in the lungs and can occur at any age. Some tumors grow slow while some are aggressive. Some might not grow at all for months or even years. They develop in the lungs or airways, often in the airways.
Classifications of Lung NETs:
Typical carcinoid: Typical carcinoids grow very slowly and rarely spread outside the lungs. They are also called carcinoid tumors. The cells look and act much like normal cells.
Atypical carcinoid: As opposite to typical carcinoid, atypical carcinoids grow very fast. These often spread to the liver and bones.
Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: This aggressive lung cancer type is encountered four times as frequently in men than in women. Though there is no standard treatment for large cell neuroendocrine cancer, but is treated in pretty much the same way as SCLC. They are poorly differentiated cancerous tumors and the cancer cells are very abnormal.
Small cell lung cancer: This is a very aggressive type of NET and most tumors develop in smokers. As SCLC patients are generally diagnosed with lung cancer at a later stage, it is treated with chemotherapy.
Symptoms of LungNets:
The common symptoms associated with LungNets include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Airway obstruction
- Weight loss
This is not a comprehensive list of symptoms and one may have any other as well. You should always consult your healthcare practitioner for any unusual changes.
Treatment for Lung NETs:
The treatment for lung neuroendocrine tumor (NET) depends upon a number of factors such as the type of NET, the location of tumor, the size of tumor and the area where it has spread. The stage of lung cancer also plays a vital role. The team of doctors discuss about the best treatment for you.
The main treatment for typical carcinoid and atypical carcinoid is Surgery. The type of surgery depends on the location and size of cancer. The doctor also analyzes the spread of tumor. He may need to remove a section of the lung or an area of the lung along with veins and arteries. Surgery is the popular treatment for cure of most lung carcinoids. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is also performed as it does not involve cutting through the ribcage.
Chemotherapy is also used for the treatment of LungNets. It includes use of anti cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. When the patient has typical or atypical carcinoid that is likely to grow, chemotherapy may be considered as a treatment option. It usually involves platinum drugs in combination with etoposide. New types of chemotherapy drugs for SCLC have also been associated with improved responses.
Somatostatin analogues such as octreotide and lanreotide are used in the treatment of lung cancer. These proteins help to cure the symptoms.
In external radiotherapy, the radiation is aimed at the body from a machine and the treatment is done in the radiotherapy department. In internal radiotherapy, the treatment is done during a bronchoscopy. The radiation is aimed via a narrow tube that the doctor puts inside the airway.
For patients having relatively few secondary tumors in the lung, this treatment method may be used. In this method, a needle is inserted into the center of the tumor and a current is applied to generate heat for killing the tumor.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.