India’s top Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan is suffering from endocrine cancer and is being treated at a London centre. It is a rare disease, but how much rare, and do you know about it?
The incidences are not fully documented but the annual incidence of significant neuroendocrine tumours are there approximately 2.5–5 per 100,000. Out of these two-thirds are carcinoid tumours and one third are different types of cancers.
The prevalence of the disease the world over has been estimated as 35 per 100,000. Sometimes, it may be higher if clinically silent tumours are included in the incidences.
An autopsy study of the pancreas in people who died from unrelated causes discovered a remarkably high incidence of tiny growth. Study of random sections of the pancreas has inferred the tumours in more than one point 5 per cent. The multiple sections identified it in the higher range of up to 10 per cent.
Whenever diagnostic imaging increases in sensitivity, for example as endoscopic ultrasonography, very small, and insignificant tumours may be coincidentally discovered. These may be unrelated to symptoms, though, such neoplasms and not required surgical excision.
Endocrine tumours usually grow when healthy cells change and begin to grow out of control, forming a mass of harmful cells. A tumour can be either cancerous or benign. A tumour which is known to be malignant means that can grow and spread to other parts of the body if it is not found at an initial stage and treated properly.
A benign tumour, on the other hand, means a tumour can grow but will not spread to the other parts of the body. A benign tumour can be easily removed without it causing harm to human bodies.
An endocrine tumour is a group of mass which begins in the parts of the body that produce and release hormones. An endocrine tumour develops from those types of human cells which produce hormones. These tumours can also produce hormones the wrong way, and this can result in a serious illness.
These type of cells are spread all over and throughout the human body in various organs, even in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract too. These are also found in the stomach and intestines, and thus it is not easy to locate its initial growth.
Neuroendocrine cells perform precise functions in our body, such as regulating air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling how quickly food needs to travel through the gastrointestinal tract.
There are many types of neuroendocrine tumours. Pheochromocytoma, Merkel cell cancer, and neuroendocrine carcinoma are categorized as dangerous. Other types of tumours which grow in hormone-producing cells affect pancreatic functions. neuroendocrine tumours, thyroid cancer, adrenal gland tumours, and pituitary gland tumours are other affected organs.
Pheochromocytoma is also regarded as a rare condition which begins in the cells of the adrenal gland. These specific cells release the hormone adrenaline during times of stress. Pheochromocytoma usually occurs in the adrenal medulla part– the area inside the adrenal glands. This tumour increases the level of production of the hormones of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are responsible for increasing the blood pressure and heart rate in individuals and thus affect health badly.
A pheochromocytoma type of a tumour is usually benign and thus termed as harmless, it may still be life-threatening. That is so, because a tumour may release huge amounts of adrenaline into the bloodstream after an injury. People with pheochromocytoma cancer, 80% have a tumour in one adrenal gland, more than 10 per cent have tumours in both glands, and 10 per cent have a tumour outside their adrenal glands.
Merkel cell cancer is regarded as a highly aggressive, or fast-growing and rare cancer. It usually begins in hormone-producing cells just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles of the affected person. It is spotted in the head and neck region. This type of cancer is called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.
More than half incidences of neuroendocrine tumours cannot be described as anything other than neuroendocrine carcinoma. Neuroendocrine carcinoma can affect in a number of places in the body, which may include the lungs, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.