Irrfan Khan tweets he has ‘NeuroEndocrine Tumour’, know what is it

With the Bollywood Superstar tweeting about his diagnosis of NeuroEndocrine Tumour, My Medical Mantra explains what it means


Unconventional powerhouse of talent, Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, who is known for displaying his impeccable acting skills in the flicks like ‘Piku’, ‘Lunch Box’, ‘Hindi Medium’ and having acted in more than 100 films, revealed via twitter post that he is suffering from ‘NeuroEndocrine Tumour’.

“Learning that I have been diagnosed with NeuroEndocrine Tumour as of now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope. The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes.”

Here’s what the disease means in short:  (source: Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) )

  • Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are abnormal growths that begin in the neuroendocrine cells, which are distributed widely throughout the body.
  • While some clinical and pathological features of NETs are unique to the site of origin, other characteristics are shared, regardless of site of origin. NETs are also sometimes referred to as carcinoid tumors.
  • Many NETs first appear in the lungs or the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, pancreas, appendix, intestines, colon and rectum. NETs may also appear in the thymus, thyroid gland, adrenal gland and pituitary gland.
  • The primary treatment goal for patients with NETs should be curative (i.e., complete resection of tumour), with symptom control and the limitation of tumour progression as secondary goals.

Dr Suresh Sankhla, a Neurosurgeon at Global Hospitals, Mumbai said, “These tumours can secrete hormones in excess amount and cause problems, or non-secreting tumour can cause symptoms due to growth. The sign and symptoms depend on the type and degree of the organs involved.”

He further said, “Immediate surgery is helpful for diagnosis and relief of symptoms. Other forms of treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy are also very helpful. Prognosis in cases of multiple organ involvement and extreme involvement is usually poor.”

“NeuroEndocrine Tumor is a very broad term which is used for tumors arising from neural and endocrine tissues. Common symptoms include flushing, Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, Bronchospasm, Hypertension , Hypoglycemia (deficiency of blood glucose) or Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), headache and dizziness. NeuroEndocrine Tumor is a contradiction.  It is more common in males as compared to females.”
He added, “Treatment depends on the staging of the tumor. NeuroEndocrine Tumor is curable;the treatment options include observation, surgery, hormonal agents, Chemotherapy drugs and Radiopeptide Therapy. Patients with NeuroEndocrine Tumor can live for years. Prognosis of NeuroEndocrine Carcinoma is poor, “Dr Akshay Shah, Consultant Medical & Hemato-Oncologist and Stem Cell Physician, S.L Raheja Hospital- A Fortis Associate.