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.
If you believe you or a loved one may be at risk for Neuroendocrine cancer, contact the UPMC Neuroendocrine Cancer Treatment Center today.