This site is intended for U.S. residents only.
This site is intended for U.S. residents only.
AJAX progress indicator
  • 5

  • 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) test
    A test that measures the amount of 5-HIAA in the urine. 5-HIAA is a substance that is broken down, or metabolized, from serotonin. It's often done to detect certain tumors in the digestive tract (like carcinoid tumors) and to track a person's condition.
  • 1

  • 18F-dihydroxy-phenylalanine
    A radioactive substance or tracer. It's used in PET scans to detect the location of NETs. It can also be called fluorodopa or 18F-DOPA.
  • a

  • Abdomen
    The abdomen is the belly area between the chest and pelvis. It contains the pancreas, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, and other organs.
  • Ablation
    In medicine, ablation is the removal of a body part, tissue, or its function. The procedure may be done by surgery, hormones, drugs, radiofrequency, heat, or other methods.
  • ACE Inhibitor
    An ACE inhibitor is a drug that's used to lower blood pressure. The full name is angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.
  • Acute
    Acute symptoms are symptoms or signs that begin and worsen quickly.
  • Adenocarcinoma
    An adenocarcinoma is a cancer that begins in glandular (or secretory) cells. Glandular cells can be found in a tissue that lines certain internal organs. They make and release substances in the body, such as mucus, digestive juices, or other fluids. Most cancers of the breast, pancreas, lung, prostate, and colon are adenocarcinomas.
  • Adenoma
    A tumor that is not cancer. It starts in gland-like cells of the epithelial tissue (a thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures in the body).
  • Adjunctive therapy
    A supporting treatment used together with the primary treatment. Also called adjunct therapy.
  • Adjuvant therapy
    Cancer treatment that is given after the primary treatment to lower the risk of cancer coming back. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biological therapy.
  • Adrenal glands
    Two small organs near the kidneys that release hormones. These hormones help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. Also called suprarenal gland.
  • Adrenaline
    A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called epinephrine.
  • Adverse events
    An unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy. Adverse events may be mild, moderate, or severe, and may be caused by something other than the drug or therapy being given. Also called a side effect or adverse effect.
  • Analgesic
    A drug that reduces pain, like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
  • Analog
    In chemistry, a substance that is similar, but not identical, to another.
  • APUDoma
    An APUDoma is an endocrine tumor that rises from an APUD cell (amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation).
  • Atrophic Gastritis
    Atrophic gastritis develops when the lining of the stomach has been inflamed for several years. The inflammation is most often the result of a bacterial infection caused by the H. pylori bacterium. The bacteria disrupt the barrier of mucus that protects the stomach lining from acidic juices that help with digestion. If it's not treated, the infection can gradually destroy the cells in the stomach lining.
  • b

  • Benign (tumor)
    A benign tumor is a noncancerous tumor. They may grow larger but they do not usually spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant tumors.
  • Biomarker
    A biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. Also called molecular marker and signature molecule.
  • Bone scan (Bone scintigraphy)
    A procedure to check for abnormal areas or damage in the bones. A bone scan may be used to diagnose bone tumors, or cancer, that has spread to the bone. It may also be used to help diagnose fractures, bone infections, or other bone problems. Also called bone scintigraphy.
  • Bronchial NETs
    Bronchial NETs are neuroendocrine tumors that develop in the lungs. There are two types depending on where they occur. The first is central bronchial. They are tumors located in the trachea (windpipe) and around the main central area of the lungs. The second is peripheral bronchial, located in the outer areas of the lungs.
  • Bronchoscope
    A thin, tube-like instrument that is used to examine the inside of the trachea and bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may also have a tool to remove tissue.
  • Bronchoscopy
    A nonsurgical procedure that looks inside the airways of the lungs by using a bronchoscope.
  • c

  • Carcinogenesis
    The process by which normal cells transform into cancer cells.
  • Carcinoid crisis
    In extremely rare cases, severe episodes of flushing, blood pressure changes, weakness, palpitations, faintness, and wheezing can constitute a carcinoid crisis that can be life-threatening. Not all the features need to be present in a carcinoid crisis or for a diagnosis of carcinoid syndrome.
  • Carcinoid syndrome
    Carcinoid syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with functional carcinoid tumors, like diarrhea or flushing.
  • Carcinoid tumors
    Slow-growing tumors usually found in the gastrointestinal system (most often in the small intestine and rectum), and sometimes in the lungs or other sites. Carcinoid tumors may spread to the liver or other sites in the body, and they may secrete substances such as serotonin or prostaglandins that cause carcinoid syndrome.
  • Carcinomas
    A type of cancer that begins in the skin or in the tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Caregiver
    A family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.
  • Catecholamines
    A type of neurohormone (a chemical made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells). Catecholamines are also a collective term for the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
  • Chemotherapy
    Anti-cancer drugs given either by mouth or by injection into a vein or muscle to kill cancer cells.
  • Cholelithiasis
    Cholelithiasis is the medical term for gallstones; hard, crystal-like lumps that form out of a fluid called bile.
  • Chromogranin A (CgA)
    A protein found inside neuroendocrine cells that can be released, along with other hormones, into the blood. It can be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors, small-cell lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Measuring the amount of chromogranin A in the blood can help diagnose cancer or other conditions.
  • Colon
    The longest part of the large intestine, a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end, and the anus at the other. The colon removes water, some nutrients, and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material (solid waste called stool) moves through the colon to the rectum, and leaves the body through the anus.
  • Colonoscopy
    A test that examines of the inside of the colon (gut). During this test, a colonoscope is inserted into the anus and passed up inside the colon. The colonoscope, a thin, tube-like instrument, has a very small light and video camera at the end for viewing.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
    A CT scan is an imaging method that uses X-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.
  • Crohn's disease
    Crohn's disease is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of the digestive system. It can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease can increase the risk of colorectal cancer and small intestinal cancer. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and weight loss.
  • Cryoablation
    A procedure that involves freezing cancer cells to kill them. A thin surgical instrument called a cryoprobe is inserted through the skin and directly into the tumors to freeze them. Also known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery.
  • Cryoprobe
    A surgical instrument used to apply extreme cold to tissues.
  • Cryosurgery
    Also known as cryoablation, a procedure that involves freezing cancer cells to kill them. A thin surgical instrument called a cryoprobe is inserted through the skin and directly into the tumors to freeze them. Also known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery.
  • Cytotoxic agent
    Any substance that helps kill cells, including cancer cells. These substances can help stop cancer cells from dividing and growing, and may even cause tumors to shrink in size.
  • d

  • Debulking
    A type of surgery used to remove as much of the cancer as possible to help make chemotherapy or radiation possible or more effective.
  • Deep subcutaneous injection (subcutaneous injection)
    A deep subcutaneous injection is a method of administering medication. Subcutaneous means under the skin. In this type of injection, a needle is used to inject a drug into the tissue layer between the skin and the muscle. Also known as subcutaneous injection.
  • Dietitian
    A healthcare professional who is an expert in diet and nutrition. A dietician can advise patients on how to eat healthily.
  • Differentiation
    In cancer, refers to how mature (developed) the cancer cells are in a tumor. Tumor cells that are differentiated can resemble normal cells. They tend to grow and spread at a slower rate than undifferentiated or poorly differentiated tumor cells which grow uncontrollably.
  • DNA
    Molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. The full name is deoxyribonucleic acid.
  • Dopamine
    A hormone and neurotransmitter (messenger) released by the nervous system.
  • Duodenum
    The first part of the small intestine, attached to the stomach. This is the part food enters immediately after it leaves the stomach. It helps digest food further and absorb nutrients and water for the body.
  • Dysplasia
    Cells that may look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.
  • e

  • Echocardiogram
    An imaging test that uses ultrasound to produce moving images of the heart and blood flow through the heart's valves and structures. Also called a cardiac echo or simply an echo.
  • Efficacy
    How well a treatment works. The measurements that determine efficacy are decided in advance of a clinical trial and are constantly monitored as the trial progresses.
  • Endocrine cancer
    Cancer that occurs in endocrine tissue; the tissue in the body that secretes hormones.
  • Endocrine system
    The endocrine system consists of hormone-producing cells. Hormones are chemical substances that are carried through the bloodstream. They have a specific regulatory effect on the activity of other organs and cells in the body. The neuroendocrine system is part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system controls growth, sexual development, sleep, hunger, and the way the body uses food.
  • Endocrinologist
    A doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions caused by hormonal or endocrine imbalances in the body.
  • Endoscope
    A long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and a video camera at the end and is inserted into the body via the mouth. They can also be used to collect a sample of tissue (biopsy) for further examination.
  • Endoscopy
    A nonsurgical procedure that is used to look inside a person's digestive tract using an endoscope.
  • Epinephrine
    Epinephrine, also called adrenaline, is a naturally occurring hormone. It's one of two chemicals released by the adrenal gland (the other is norepinephrine). Epinephrine increases the speed and force of heartbeats and thereby the work that can be done by the heart. Epinephrine has been produced synthetically as a drug since 1900. It remains the drug of choice for treatment of anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.
  • f

  • F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose
    F-18 is a radioactive substance or tracer that is used in a PET scan to help identify the presence of certain tumor types within the body. It measures how much energy (glucose) the tumors are using. Usually abbreviated to FDG.
  • Fine-needle aspiration
    A procedure that removes tissue samples with a very thin needle.
  • First-line therapy
    The first drug, or set of drugs, given to treat cancer.
  • Flushing (carcinoid flushing)
    A reddening of the skin. Episodes of severe flushing can be triggered by exercise, alcohol, stress, and certain foods in 75% of patients with carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid syndrome occurs in about 10% of patients with carcinoid tumors. With time, flushing may appear without provocation. The character of the flush differs depending upon the site of origin of the tumor.
  • Functioning tumors
    Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that make an excess of hormones and cause signs and symptoms. Also known as functional tumors.
  • Fusion scan (MIBG, OctreoScan or other scans)
    The fusion scan electronically fuses, or combines images from an OctreoScan, MIBG scan (or any other PET scan) with those of a CT scan. Together, they render a final image that may be superior to those of the individual scans.
  • g

  • Gallbladder
    The pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.
  • Gallium-68
    A radioactive substance or tracer that can be combined with a protein that targets somatostatin receptors. When injected into the body, it can be used to identify specific neuroendocrine cancer cells during a PET scan.
  • Gallstone
    Solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Gallstones are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a grain of sand to a golf ball.
  • Gastrin
    A hormone released after eating from special cells in the lining of the stomach. Gastrin causes the stomach to release an acid that helps digest food.
  • Gastritis
    Gastritis is an inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. Common symptoms may include appetite loss, indigestion, black stools, nausea, and vomiting. Some people may not experience symptoms.
  • Gastroenterologist
    A doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system). This can include the food pipe (esophagus), stomach, liver, and gut (intestines).
  • Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs)
    A rare type of tumor that can form in the pancreas or in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, and appendix. GEP-NETs usually form in cells that secrete hormones. Some of these tumors make extra amounts of hormones (and other substances) that can cause signs and symptoms of disease, including a condition called carcinoid syndrome. GEP-NETs may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancer).
  • Gastrointestinal NETs (GI-NETs)
    Previously called carcinoid tumors, GI-NETs are the most common type of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). They are found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and include tumors that develop in the bowel, stomach, or food pipe (esophagus). Also called gastric NETs or GI-NETs.
  • Gastrointestinal tract
    The organ system responsible for consuming, digesting, absorbing nutrients, and getting rid of food (waste). The gastrointestinal tract includes the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, rectum, and anus.
  • Gastroscopy
    An examination of the inside of the stomach by using a flexible fiberoptic tube (a gastroscope). The gastroscope is passed through the mouth and esophagus and into the stomach.
  • Glucagon
    A hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to increase blood sugar (glucose).
  • Grade
    A description of how cancer cells and surrounding tissues look under a microscope, and how quickly they are likely to grow and spread. Grades are used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis. Also called histologic grade and tumor grade.
  • h

  • Hematology
    The science that studies the blood.
  • Hepatic
    Having to do with the liver. For example, the right and left hepatic ducts.
  • Hepatic chemoembolization
    A therapeutic method used to treat primary liver tumors and cancer tumors that have spread to the liver (metastatic liver tumors).
  • Histamine
    A type of chemical that has many effects in the body. It's a part of the body's immune response and is released during an allergic reaction. It causes small blood vessels to widen and become leaky, which can cause tissues to swell. Histamine can also cause smooth muscles to contract (tighten), gastric acid to be made, and the heart rate to increase.
  • Hormone
    Chemical substances that are carried through the bloodstream and have specific regulatory effects on the activity of other organs or cells in the body.
  • i

  • Ileum
    The last section of the small intestine that attaches to the large intestine.
  • Immunotherapy
    An artificial stimulation, or imitation, of the body's immune system to treat or fight disease.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
    A disorder in the intestine. Signs and symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, like constipation, diarrhea, or both. Also called irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Injection
    Pushing medication into the body through the use of a syringe or needle. There are different types of injections. Intramuscular (IM) injections: Into the muscle. Intravenous (IV) injections: Into the vein. Subcutaneous (SC) injections: Into the fatty tissue under the skin.
  • Insulin
    A hormone made by the pancreas that helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.
  • Interferon
    A substance that can improve the body's natural response to infections and other diseases. Interferons help stop cancer cells from forming new cancer cells and can slow down the growth of tumors. The body normally produces interferon. It can also be made in the laboratory to treat cancer and other diseases.
  • Intervention
    The treatment, procedure, or other action taken to prevent or treat disease, or help improve health.
  • Interventional study
    A clinical trial in which researchers assign one or more interventions to a group of suitable participants. The results of this study can help provide researchers with information about cause and effect.
  • Intramuscular injection
    An injection that is delivered directly into the muscle.
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)
    Radiation therapy that is given during surgery.
  • Irradiation
    A treatment method that delivers radiotherapy to the whole body. It uses high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. Also called radiation therapy.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    A disorder in the intestine. Signs and symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, like constipation, diarrhea, or both. Also called inflammatory bowel disease.
  • j

  • Jejunum
    The middle section of the small intestine (between the duodenum and ileum).
  • k

  • Ki-67 index
    The Ki-67 index measures how much Ki-67 protein is present in cancer cells, including neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Ki-67 is a protein used to diagnose and assess the prognosis of tumors, and how quickly the tumor may divide and grow (proliferate).
  • l

  • Linear accelerator
    A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates a high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer.
  • Localized
    A tumor contained in one area of the body.
  • Lung function tests
    Tests that look at how well the lungs work by measuring how much air a person can exhale after taking in a deep breath. Also called pulmonary function tests.
  • Lutetium-177
    A radioactive substance that can be combined with a protein to target somatostatin receptors. It releases radiation and kills the tumor cells.
  • m

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
    An MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to look at organs and structures inside your body.
  • Malignant tumors
    Malignant tumors are made up of cells that grow out of control. Cells in these tumors can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
  • Metastasis
    A process that describes how cancer cells spread from one part of the body to another.
  • Metastasize
    To spread from one part of the body to another.
  • MIBG scan
    An imaging test that uses radiopharmaceutical metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) to help locate and diagnose certain types of cancer in the body.
  • Multidisciplinary team
    Healthcare professionals from various clinical areas who help advise patients about the different aspects of care.
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)
    A rare, genetic condition that causes tumors to develop in endocrine glands, most common in the parathyroid glands, pituitary gland, and the pancreas. Also known as MEN (acronym).
  • n

  • Neuroendocrine cells
    Cells that release hormones into the blood in response to a signal from the nervous system.
  • Neuroendocrine system
    Having to do with interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system. The neuroendocrine system is comprised of cells that are a cross between traditional hormone-producing cells and nerve cells.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs)
    A tumor derived from neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells release a hormone in response to a signal from the nervous system. Neuroendocrine tumors can secrete an excess of hormones and cause a variety of symptoms. Examples of neuroendocrine tumors are carcinoid tumors, islet cell tumors, medullary thyroid carcinoma, and pheochromocytoma.
  • o

  • Oncologist
    A doctor who specializes in oncology.
  • Oncology
    The study and treatment of cancer. Doctors who specialize in oncology are called oncologists.
  • p

  • Palliative Care Team
    A team of specialized doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who are trained to provide supportive care, such as pain relief to people with long-term terminal illnesses, particularly during the last days of life.
  • Pancreas
    A pear-shaped gland located in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine. It is about six inches long and releases enzymes that help the body digest food. The pancreas also produces insulin, which helps control the amount of sugar in the blood.
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNETs)
    Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are tumors that form in hormone-making cells (islet cells) of the pancreas. These include functioning and non-functioning tumors.
  • Pancreatic polypeptide
    A hormone produced by the pancreas. Levels of pancreatic polypeptides are high in the blood of people with pancreatic NETs (pNETS). Blood levels can therefore be used to help in the diagnosis of, and monitor, pNETs.
  • Pathologist
    A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying the structure and characteristics of cells and tissues.
  • Peptic ulcer disease
    Peptic ulcer disease involves sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. Also known as stomach ulcers.
  • Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)
    A form of molecular targeted therapy which is performed by using a small peptide that is coupled with a radionuclide emitting radiation. PRRT is an innovative nuclear medicine therapy for the systemic treatment of tumors, including metastasized neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Percutaneous alcohol injection
    A therapy involving the injection of pure alcohol through the skin, directly into cancerous tumors in the liver to kill cancer cells. A CT scan or an ultrasound guides the needle into the tumor. Used to treat liver cancer. Also known as a percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI).
  • Placebo
    A placebo is a substance that has no effect on the disease, but is used as a control to compare the effects of an actual treatment. It could be a pill, an injection (or shot), or some other type of "fake" treatment. What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
    A PET scan is an imaging technique that can show how body tissues are working, as well as what they look like. It can help diagnose and assess the severity of a cancer. For this scan, a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein.
  • Primary care physician (PCP)
    A primary care physician (PCP) or general practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats all types of medical conditions. GPs are often the first healthcare professional a patient will see before they are referred for specialist care. A practice nurse works alongside the GP to assess, screen, treat, and educate patients on health, and help monitor those with long-term conditions.
  • Primary site
    The place in the body where a tumor starts.
  • Primary treatment
    The main, or first, treatment used by the healthcare provider to treat cancer in the body.
  • Primary tumor
    The original, or first, tumor in the body. Cancer cells can spread from a primary tumor to other parts of the body and form secondary tumors. This process is called metastasis.
  • Probiotic supplements
    Probiotic supplements are live bacteria and yeasts that are good or helpful for your gastrointestinal (digestive) system.
  • Prognosis
    A medical prediction about the probable cause and outcome of a disease.
  • Proliferative index
    A measure of the number of cells in a tumor that are dividing (proliferating).
  • Prophylaxis
    Preventative treatment or action
  • r

  • Radiation
    The use of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy
    A procedure involving the use of high-energy radio waves, such as X-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. Also called radiotherapy, irradiation, or X-ray therapy.
  • Radioembolization
    Radioembolization uses radiation to treat neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that have developed in the liver. It uses a thin tube to inject radioactive substances into the blood vessel that goes to the liver. The radioactive substance destroys the blood vessels where the tumor grows killing the cancer cells. Also called intra-arterial brachytherapy.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
    Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat made by radio waves to kill cancer cells. RFA is given using a probe (electrode) that is injected through the skin and into the tumor. The electrical current from the probe heats the cancer cells to high temperatures and can destroy them.
  • Radiologist
    A medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disease and injury through the use of medical imaging techniques, like X-rays, and ultrasound.
  • Radionuclide
    A radionuclide (sometimes called a radioisotope or isotope) is an unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable.
  • Radiotherapy
    A procedure involving the use of high-energy radio waves, like X-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. Also called irradiation or X-ray therapy.
  • Resection
    The surgical removal of an organ or structure, such as a tumor.
  • s

  • Safety
    A measure of a participant's health and well-being during and after a clinical trial. Safety is the top priority in the clinical trials. That's why members of the research team closely monitor changes in participants' health throughout the trial.
  • Scintigraphy
    An imaging test that produces two-dimensional images of the distribution of radioactivity in tissues after the internal administration of a radiopharmaceutical imaging agent.
  • Secondary cancer
    A tumor formed from cancer cells that spread from a primary tumor to other parts of the body. The secondary tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. Also known as a secondary tumor or metastasis.
  • Serotonin
    A hormone and neurotransmitter that is found in many tissues of the body.
  • Small bowel capsule endoscopy
    A way to record images of the gastrointestinal (digestive) system. It involves swallowing a small capsule about the size and shape of a pill. The capsule contains a very small video camera that takes pictures of the inside of the gut.
  • Somatostatin
    Somatostatin is a polypeptide type of hormone usually released from the hypothalamus and inhibits the secretion of other hormones including growth hormone, insulin, and gastrin.
  • Somatostatin analog (SSA)
    Medication that copies or mimics the action of the hormone somatostatin. Somatostatin analogs may reduce the symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) by stopping the body from making too many hormones. They may help slow tumor growth and are given by injection.
  • Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS)
    A type of radionuclide scan used to find carcinoid and other types of tumors. Radioactive compound that targets somatostatin receptors is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive compound attaches to tumor cells that have receptors for somatostatin. A radiation-measuring device makes pictures showing where the tumor cells are in the body.
  • Sonography
    A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) to look at tissues and organs inside the body. Ultrasound is also known as sonography.
  • Subcutaneous injection (deep subcutaneous injection)
    A subcutaneous injection is a method of administering medication. Subcutaneous means under the skin. In this type of injection, a needle is used to inject a drug into the tissue layer between the skin and the muscle. Also known as deep subcutaneous injection.
  • Surgeon
    A highly skilled doctor who performs operations, such as the removal of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
  • Surgery
    Surgery for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) involving the physical removal of tumors.
  • t

  • Targeted cancer therapies
    Drugs or other substances that block the growth, development, and spread of cancer cells. These treatments are also known as molecularly targeted therapies.
  • Thyroid
    A gland that is part of the endocrine system and regulates hormones in the body. The thyroid absorbs iodine from the bloodstream to produce thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in the body.
  • Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE)
    A procedure that blocks (embolizes) the blood supply to a tumor and administers chemotherapy directly into the tumor. TACE is used to treat liver cancer. It's also called chemoembolization or hepatic artery embolization (HAE).
  • u

  • Ultrasound scan
    An ultrasound scan is a procedure that uses high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) to look at tissues and organs inside the body. Ultrasound is also known as sonography.
  • Undifferentiated (poorly differentiated)
    A term used to describe tumor cells that grow uncontrollably and lack the structures and function of normal cells. Alternatively, well-differentiated tumor cells resemble normal cells, and tend to grow and spread at a slower rate than the undifferentiated (poorly differentiated) tumor cells.
  • v

  • Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)
    A hormone found in the pancreas, intestine, and central nervous system. It stimulates the release of electrolytes and water by the intestinal mucosa.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL)
    A rare genetic condition that causes tumors and cysts to grow in certain parts of the body like the brain, spinal cord, eyes, inner ear, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidney, and reproductive tract. These tumors are usually noncancerous but some can be. People with VHL syndrome have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer.
  • x

  • X-ray therapy
    A type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy radiation from X-rays to help kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • y

  • Yttrium-90 (Y-90)
    A radioactive substance that can be combined with a protein to target somatostatin receptors. It releases radiation and helps kill the tumor cells.
  • z

  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
    A disorder in which tumors produce large amounts of gastrin. It can lead stomach ulcers, esophageal reflux (when acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining), and diarrhea. It results from the overproduction of stomach acid caused by rare neuroendocrine tumors.
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