Banner Health
Making healthcare easier

Neuroendocrine Tumors Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention

Understanding your risk for neuroendocrine tumors is the first step in prevention and early diagnosis. At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, our team of dedicated cancer experts can help you understand your risk factors so you can make informed choices about your health care.

What Causes Neuroendocrine Tumors?

There are no known direct causes for neuroendocrine tumors. Furthermore, there is no evidence that a person’s diet or environmental factors can increase the likelihood of developing a neuroendocrine tumor.

What Are the Risk Factors for Neuroendocrine Tumors?

The typical age of diagnosis is older adults between 55-65—cases of neuroendocrine tumors in children are rare—and they are slightly more common in women than men. While there are no known lifestyle-based risk factors, your family’s medical history and certain conditions can raise your risk of developing a neuroendocrine tumor. These include:

  • Family history and genetics: Those with a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), including lung neuroendocrine tumors, gastrointestinal tract neuroendocrine tumors and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, have an increased risk of developing neuroendocrine tumors. Certain inherited genetic conditions can increase your risk, such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) and tuberous sclerosis complex.
  • Specific medical conditions: Those with diseases that damage the stomach and reduce acid production are at greater risk of developing a gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumor.

How to Prevent Neuroendocrine Tumors

Because there are no known controllable risk factors for neuroendocrine tumors, there is no way to prevent them. If you are at elevated risk for neuroendocrine tumors based on your family or personal health history, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your risk factors and any health concerns you may have.

Request an appointment