Large bowel and rectal neuroendocrine tumours

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are cancers that start in different places in the body, including the large bowel (colon) and back passage (rectum).

Large bowel and rectal NETs are rare and need different treatments to other more common types of bowel (colorectal) cancer.

What are large bowel and rectal NETs?

Large bowel and rectal NETs are rare cancers that usually develop slowly over some years.


Many people with a large bowel or rectal NET do not have any symptoms. Doctors often diagnose them when looking for something else.

Getting diagnosed

Find out how to get the most out of your GP appointment, the specialist you might see, and the tests you may have.

Stages and grades

The stage of a NET tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under a microscope.

Treatment for large bowel and rectal NETs

Treatment depends on where the cancer started, its size and whether it has spread. Surgery is the main treatment for large bowel and rectal NETs.

Follow up

You have regular appointments after you finish treatment. 


Survival for large bowel and rectal NETs depends on many factors. There are general statistics on this page, so they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Research and clinical trials for large bowel and rectal NETs

Researchers are looking at the biology of NETs and trying to improve the diagnosis and treatment of bowel NETs.

Living with NETs

Get practical and emotional support to help you cope with a neuroendocrine tumour.

Last reviewed: 
17 Jun 2021
Next review due: 
17 Jun 2024
Json LD: 
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