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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).
Understanding Neuroendocrine TumoursDownload PDF
Understanding Rare and Less Common CancersDownload PDF
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.