Neuroendocrine tumors are abnormal growths that begin in specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells have traits similar to nerve cells and to hormone-producing cells.

Neuroendocrine tumors are rare and can occur anywhere in the body. Most neuroendocrine tumors occur in the lungs, appendix, small intestine, rectum and pancreas.

Neuroendocrine tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

Examples of neuroendocrine tumors include:

Diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors depends on the type of tumor, its location, whether it produces excess hormones, how aggressive it is and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

  • Collaboration. At Mayo Clinic, a variety of specialists work together as a multidisciplinary team to provide whole-person care for people with neuroendocrine tumors. Which specialists are involved in your care will depend on your type of tumor. Specialists may include oncologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, pathologists, surgeons and radiologists. Other professionals are included as needed.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic surgeons have extensive experience diagnosing and treating neuroendocrine tumors. Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 1,400 people with neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Expertise. Neuroendocrine tumors are rare and treatment can be complex and varied. Mayo Clinic doctors have the training and experience needed to accurately diagnose and treat all types of neuroendocrine tumors, including very rare types.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with neuroendocrine tumors includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other drug treatments.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

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Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

At Mayo Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of experts offers whole-person care for people with neuroendocrine tumors. Which specialists are involved in your care will depend on the type of neuroendocrine tumor you have.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of experts offers whole-person care for people with neuroendocrine tumors. Which specialists are involved in your care will depend on the type of neuroendocrine tumor you have.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of experts offers whole-person care for people with neuroendocrine tumors. Which specialists are involved in your care will depend on the type of neuroendocrine tumor you have.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctor and scientists are studying new ways to diagnose and treat neuroendocrine tumors.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on neuroendocrine tumors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Sep. 06, 2014