The NET Alliance™ and Novartis Oncology continue their commitment to improving knowledge and management of neuroendocrine tumors, and empowering patients to be more informed advocates.

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Know your disease 

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you have. Keep notes about new symptoms or changes in your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms at every visit.

What are symptoms caused by lung NET?

Symptoms you might have

Lung neuroendocrine tumors, known as lung NET, usually cause symptoms like coughing and wheezing. Because these symptoms are common, or similar to symptoms that are related to other diseases, it may take a long time for doctors to diagnose a lung neuroendocrine tumor.

Some types of lung neuroendocrine tumors grow and spread (metastasize) slowly. Doctors sometimes call these grade 1 tumors or typical lung carcinoids.

Grade 1 (G1) lung neuroendocrine tumors are commonly found in your lungs and very rarely spread outside of the lungs. G1 lung neuroendocrine tumors most often occur in people in their 40s.

Other types of lung neuroendocrine tumors grow and spread (metastasize) more quickly. Doctors sometimes call these grade 2 tumors or atypical lung carcinoids.

Grade 2 (G2) lung neuroendocrine tumors are commonly found in your lungs and in the outer area of your lungs. G2 lung neuroendocrine tumors most often occur in people in their 50s and in smokers.

Common symptoms of lung neuroendocrine tumors include

  • Chronic cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up of blood
  • Fever
  • Wheezing that affects one side of the body
  • Infections that don’t go away

Uncommon syndromes associated with lung neuroendocrine tumors

Cushing syndrome

Cushing syndrome occurs when a lung neuroendocrine tumor releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

  • Hormones control different body functions, like growth and reproduction, digestion, air flow in your lungs, and how your body responds to stress or injury

ACTH is a hormone that causes your body to make the hormone cortisol. Cortisol helps your body manage stress.

Some lung neuroendocrine tumors can cause your body to make too much cortisol. The symptoms of Cushing syndrome occur when there is too much cortisol in your blood.

Symptoms of Cushing syndrome include

  • Weight gain
  • Purple marks across the skin
  • Easy bruising
  • More visible body hair
  • Muscle weakness

Carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome occurs when a lung neuroendocrine tumor releases a hormone called serotonin. Carcinoid syndrome is very rare for people with lung NET.

Serotonin is a hormone made by certain cells in the body. Serotonin helps with various functions, such as digestion.

The symptoms of carcinoid syndrome usually become more noticeable when your neuroendocrine tumor starts to grow or spread (metastasize).

Symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include

  • Turning red and feeling warm in your face or neck (flushing)
  • Diarrhea, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rate
  • Skin lesions or discolored patches

Know your disease 

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you have. Keep notes about new symptoms or changes in your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms at every visit.