November is NET Cancer Awareness Month. NET stands for neuroendocrine tumors. NET cancer is a term used to refer to cancers that begin in neuroendocrine cells. Each year, around 12,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with NET cancer.
About NET Cancer.
Neuroendocrine cells are located all over the body. Their purpose is to make hormones and chemicals the body needs to work properly. Normally, these cells go through a life cycle. They are produced, they do their job, and they die off, so they can be replaced by new cells. When a person develops NET cancer, these cells don’t follow the normal rules. They grow out of control, fail to repair themselves, and don’t die when they should. As a result, a tumor forms.
There are many different kinds of NET cancers. They are named according to the kind of cell they develop in or by the hormones that cell produces. Though NET cancer can occur in many places, it is more common in parts of the digestive system, such as:
- Small intestine.
Sometimes NET cancer starts in the lungs or thymus. In rare cases, it may start in the kidneys, ovaries, testicles, or pancreas.
NET Cancer Symptoms.
The symptoms NET cancer causes depend on where it starts. For example, if it starts in the pancreas, some of the symptoms may be:
- Intense hunger.
- Pain in the stomach.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Weight loss.
Other kinds of NET cancer may cause:
- Loss of appetite.
- Night sweats.
Treatment of NET Cancer.
Just like with other kinds of cancer, the sooner NET cancer is discovered, the better treatment works. Unfortunately, most kinds of NET cancer aren’t discovered until they’ve reached an advanced stage. In part, this is because the symptoms vary so much.
Treatment for NET cancer may include radiation, chemotherapy, medications, or surgery. The treatment the patient receives depends on factors like:
- The kind of tumor.
- How many tumors are present.
- Whether the cancer has spread.
In addition to treatment, people with NET cancer can take other steps at home to feel better. Since many kinds of NET cancer affect a person’s ability to keep weight on, it’s important that the older adult eats a diet that is nutritious. They should also consume extra protein and avoid fatty foods and foods that are high in sugar.
Elder care can assist seniors with NET cancer to take better care of themselves during treatment. Elder care can prepare nutritious meals and snacks. Elder care providers can also remind the older adult to take medications. If the senior needs a ride to treatment appointments, elder care can also offer transportation.
If you or an aging loved one needs elder care in Sacramento, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.