Neuroendocrine Tumor of the Pancreas: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 02/2023

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing a neuroendocrine tumor (NET) of the pancreas. Use the menu to see other pages.

What are the risk factors for a pancreas NET?

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause the tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

  • Inherited genetic syndromes. Researchers have found that 3 genetic syndromes may increase a person’s risk of developing a pancreas NET: multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), and Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL). These syndromes can be passed from generation to generation in a family.

  • Other potential risk factors. There are other potential risk factors but the scientific evidence supporting the connection to a pancreas NET is weaker. These include smoking, alcohol, family history of cancer, diabetes, and chronic pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what changes or medical problems a pancreas NET can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.