Treatment for a neuroendocrine tumour (NET) depends on a number of things including where the cancer is, its size and whether it has spread.

NETs grow at different rates, but they often grow very slowly. Some might not grow at all for months or years. So you might not need treatment straight away. Your doctor might just keep an eye on it with regular tests.

You can find out more about the treatment you are likely to have in the treatment pages for each type of NET.

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.


Surgery is the main treatment for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Find out about the type of surgery you might have, how you have it and what to expect after the operation.

Somatostatin analogues

Somatostatin analogues can help with the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome and may slow down tumour growth.

Targeted cancer drugs

Targeted cancer drugs work by ‘targeting’ the differences in NET cells compared to normal cells that help them survive and grow.


Chemotherapy uses cytotoxic drugs to destroy NET cells. You might have it for a NET that is fast growing or that has spread to other parts of the body.


Radiotherapy uses high energy rays to kill NET cells. You might have internal radiotherapy or external radiotherapy.

Trans arterial embolisation (TAE)

TAE means having a substance such as a gel or tiny beads to block the blood supply to the liver NET.

Radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation

Radiofrequency and microwave ablation uses heat made by radiowaves or microwaves to kill NET cells in the liver.

Last reviewed: 
19 Mar 2021
Next review due: 
19 Mar 2024
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