Some of the risk factors associated with developing neuroendocrine tumors can include:
Age. Pheochromocytoma is most common between 40 and 60 years of age, and Merkel’s cell cancer commonly affects people over the age of 70.
Gender. Men are more like to develop pheochromocytoma and Merkel’s cell cancer than women.
Race/ethnicity. While more common in Caucasian individuals, there have been cases of neuroendocrine cancer reported among people of African-Americans and Asian descent.
Family history. Some of the neuroendocrine cancers can be hereditary.
Immune suppression. People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and who have suppressed immune systems from organ transplantation have a higher risk for developing neuroendocrine cancers.
Sun exposure. Because Merkel’s cell cancer often occurs on the sun-exposed areas of the head and neck, many doctors think that sun exposure may be a risk factor for this type of cancer.