What are the risk factors?
The causes of most NETs are not known. However, there are several risk factors:
Some rare, inherited diseases can put people more at risk of NETs. These include multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN 1, MEN 2), Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex and neurofibromatosis.
Some NETs may be linked to pre-existing conditions such as:
- peptic ulcers (in the stomach or duodenum) may increase the risk of NETs in these areas
- diabetes – people with diabetes may be more likely to develop pancreatic NETs.
Merkel cell carcinoma is linked to overexposure to the sun and ultraviolet light; it may also be caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV).
This information is reviewed by
This information was last reviewed February 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr David Chan, Medical Oncologist, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Leslye Dunn, Consumer; Prof Gerald Fogarty, Radiation Oncologist, St Vincent’s Hospital, NSW; Katie Golden, Consumer; Dr Grace Kong, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Elizabeth Paton, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Group, NSW.