Talk to your doctor about side effects

If you have any questions about the possible side effects of NETs treatments, then ask your doctor for more information. If you experience severe side effects, your doctor may be able to change your treatment or prescribe some medication to help relieve these symptoms.

See the NETs and work section on this website to find out how making adjustments to your work schedule may help you to manage the impact of some treatment side effects.

Managing skin flushing

Flushing of the skin is a very common symptom of carcinoid syndrome, and may appear as a red or purple blush that appears suddenly on the face or neck. These flushes may also occur on the back or legs. They can last from around 30 seconds to as long as 30 minutes. In people with NETs, skin flushing is more likely to be “dry” flushing (without sweating), rather than “wet” flushing (with sweating).

Avoid the triggers of flushing

Flushes in people with NETs can be triggered by emotions or stressful situations, by eating certain foods, or by drinking alcohol, caffeine, or hot liquids. Generally, you should avoid triggers, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Foods with high or moderate amounts of amines (eg, red wine, chocolate, bananas)

Some medications, such as antidepressants, may also make symptoms worse. Talk to your doctors to see if there are any treatments you should avoid, but don’t stop taking any medications without their direction.

Dealing with fatigue

Feeling exhausted and lacking energy for day-to-day activities (fatigue), is the most common side effect of treatment for NETs. The exhaustion can range from mild to severe, and is usually worse during treatment.

Some people living with NETs also experience severe tiredness and fatigue after completing treatment. Fatigue can also affect your emotions, relationships, work and other parts of your life, so it’s important that you recognize and try to manage it.

Tell your doctor about your fatigue, and any problems that may disturb your sleeping patterns, like depression, anxiety, and stress. Try some of the following changes to help you find a good balance between activity and rest.

Pace yourself

Keep track of your fatigue in a journal. You may notice that you have more energy at certain times of the day:

  • Plan to do things at the time of day when your tiredness is least severe
  • Spread out tasks like housework or professional work over a longer period of time
  • Keep supplies and equipment within easy reach
  • Ask friends or family to help you out with housework, childcare, pet care or shopping
  • Plan activities or outings to places where you can sit down to rest

Tips to help improve your sleeping habits

NETs pain

Some people with NETs can experience pain in and around the organs where their tumors are located. Pain may also be a side effect of some NETs treatments.

If you are suffering from other physical or emotional effects due to NETs, this can make it more difficult for you to handle pain. Consult your doctor to find out if they can recommend any treatments for your pain or ways that you can help to reduce this.

How exercise can help

Exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do as someone living with NETs, particularly when you may constantly feel tired. Research shows, however, that exercise is one of the best ways to improve your energy levels and help relieve fatigue in cancer patients.

Research shows exercise during cancer treatment is not only safe, it can improve your ability to function and your quality of life.

You may be more motivated to take part in an exercise routine if you’re in a group environment. This can also help you to make new friends and share your exercise goals. Talk to your doctor about which exercises are right for you.

The benefits of exercise may include:

  • Stronger muscles
  • A feeling of well-being
  • Less depression and anxiety

Add physical activities to your daily routine

Here are some ways to add physical activity to the things you do every day. Remember, always talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise activity or program.


  • Walk around your neighborhood
  • Ride a bike
  • Wash your car
  • Walk a dog or go with a friend who has one
  • Garden or spend some time outdoors
  • Use stairs instead of elevator
  • Park your car in a space farther away from your office building or the mall

Relaxation techniques

If you live life in the fast lane, you may find it hard to relax and slow down. However, it is important to find some peace when you are dealing with difficult times during your living with NETs journey.

Relaxing activities called mind-body interventions can help you to:

  • Lower your stress levels
  • Reduce your fatigue
  • Take your mind off other problems
  • Deal with difficult emotions

Learning to relax your body and your mind can also help you to feel good and more in control of your situation. This can have a positive effect on your thoughts. You’ll feel calmer and more capable of thinking practically about your problems.

Relaxation techniques to try

  • Physical relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Music therapy

One of the best ways to find a teacher or a course for these types of relaxation activities is by personal recommendation from someone you trust. Ask your doctor to refer you to a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, or social worker that may be able to provide you with details about these classes at locations in your area.

Look for further information about local relaxation classes by:

  • Searching the Internet
  • Visiting local libraries, health centers, and community centers
  • Reading local newspapers and magazines

Find the support you need

NET patient support groups

NETs Support Groups

Discover the NETs groups in your area providing emotional support.

Find Support

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Learn about NETs

Learn about carcinoid tumors, the types of NETs, and symptoms.

Learn About NETs

Find support services in your area

Find a NETs Clinic

View a list of specialist NETs clinics
and hospital units.

Find a Clinic

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