What Are Symptoms of Endocrine Cancer?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of endocrine cancer may include a lump in any part of the body, anxiety, depression, headaches and unexplained weight gain or weight loss, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Symptoms often depend on the type of endocrine cancer, which includes thyroid cancer and adrenal gland, pituitary gland and parathyroid tumors.

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Other possible symptoms of endocrine cancer include nervousness, persistent pain in a localized area, fatigue, sweating and nausea, states the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Some individuals with endocrine cancer may experience no symptoms. Carcinoid tumors, of both the lungs and gastrointestinal tract; islet cell tumors; and neuroendocrine tumors, including Merkel cell cancer, pheochromocytoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma, are also considered different types endocrine cancer.

The most common type of endocrine cancer is thyroid cancer, explains EndocrineWeb. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump on the neck, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness or a change in a person's voice.

Neuroendocrine carcinoma is a rare form of cancer that may affect the neuroendocrine cells, which are spread throughout the body and release hormones, notes The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Types of neuroendocrine cancer include medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and carcinoid tumors in the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms depend on where in the body the tumor exists. For example, a carcinoid tumor in the duodenum may cause abdominal pain, jaundice and heartburn, while a tumor in the colon may cause abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss.

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