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Neuroendocrine (NET) Carcinoma of the Lung


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NET, also called lung carcinoid tumors, are the least dangerous kind of primary lung cancer. They develop from a special kind of cell that resides in the air sacs and grows slowly. Two types exist: typical neuroendocrine tumor and atypical neuroendocrine tumor. Surgery alone is used to treat both types — no other treatment is necessary after the tumor is removed.

Lung carcinoid tumors, or lung carcinoids, aren’t common. They usually grow slower than other lung cancers. They’re made up of neuroendocrine cells, which make hormones. Your neuroendocrine cells help control airflow and blood flow in your lungs.

Types of NET carcinomas of the lung include:

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

The most experienced lung cancer detection and diagnosis team in South Florida. We specialize in achieving the most accurate, correct diagnosis of your cancer, often down to the genetic level.

Robotic video-assisted surgery program ranked among top 10 in the Southeast. Our excellent surgeons use robotic video-assisted technology to improve patient outcomes, including decreased blood loss in surgery, shorter hospital stays, and higher survival rates on average for appropriate patients.

Advanced radiation oncology tools. Our RapidArc® radiotherapy system delivers intensity modulated external radiation therapy (IMRT). These tools lead to more efficient and effective treatments, shorter treatment times, pinpoint accuracy in tumor targeting, and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

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Your treatment will depend on the type of carcinoid, the size and location of the tumor, if it's spread to lymph nodes or other organs, and your general health history. Your care plan may include one or more approach, including:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Other drug treatments
  • Radiation therapy


  • Pulmonary Function Test

    This non-invasive test is performed as part of the initial evaluation of lung cancer patients. It allows us to see how well the lungs are functioning and the quality of your lung tissue to determine if surgery is a viable option. Pulmonary function testing also helps your doctor predict how your lungs will function after surgery.

  • Chest X-ray

    This test examines your lungs and chest cavity for abnormalities. It’s frequently used as a screening test for any abnormality that needs to be further characterized.

  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Chest

    CT scans of the chest provide details about a cancer’s location, characteristics of the tumor(s), and the status of lymph nodes within the chest. It helps your doctor detect any abnormal fluid accumulation within your chest cavity.

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan/CT Scan

    This scan is the standard diagnostic test for lung cancer, which provides valuable information for determining the clinical stage of the lung cancer.

  • Octreoscan (Somatostatin Receptor Scintigraphy/SRS)

    This scan locates tumors in your body. Before the scan, you receive an injection of medicine (octreotide) that binds to carcinoid tumors. A special camera detects the areas where the medicine accumulates, which allows your doctor to evaluate the cancer.

  • Biopsy

    Getting a small sample of the tumor (biopsy) can be done with a needle or using a surgical core biopsy under image guidance. Our pathologists review the sample under advanced microscopes to determine the cellular characteristics. An intra-operative biopsy can also be performed during a lung cancer surgery to decrease the risk and inconvenience of a pre-operative biopsy using approaches such as thoracoscopy, thoracentesis, mediastinoscopy, and others.

  • Bronchoscopy

    Bronchoscopy allows your doctor to look inside your airways for suspicious areas and take a small tissue sample using a thin viewing instrument (bronchoscope). To perform the procedure, your doctor inserts the scope into your nose or mouth to examine your windpipe and lung passages (bronchi and bronchioles).

  • Thoracoscopy

    This procedure is used for examining your chest cavity and taking samples of suspicious areas. Your doctor makes a small incision between two ribs and inserts a thin tube with a light (thoracoscope) to perform the procedure.

  • Thoracentesis

    During a thoracentesis, your doctor uses a needle to gather fluid from the space between the lining of your chest and your lungs.

  • Mediastinoscopy

    This procedure is used to view the lymph nodes below your neck and take samples. Your doctor makes a small incision at the top of your breastbone and inserts a thin, tube-like instrument to do the procedure.

  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)

    This new technology allows the interventional pulmonologist to look for cancers farther out from the lung and biopsy nodules seen with a CT or MRI scan. It’s useful in visualizing central lymph nodes near the major airways.

  • Light Microscopy

    Light microscopy is the use of a high-powered microscope to look at tissue samples for certain changes in cells, which can help diagnose cancer.

  • Immunohistochemistry

    This test uses antibodies to look for certain antigens in a tissue sample to diagnose cancer. It can also help your doctor determine the type of cancer you have.

  • Tumor Genetic Mutation Analysis

    This test identifies genetic makeup of the tumor to help your doctor predict how your body will respond to treatment, such as targeted therapy medicines.

  • Cytologic Exam

    This type of lab evaluation uses a microscope to check cells for any abnormalities or signs of cancer.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.