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18F-dihydroxy-phenylalanine

18F-dihydroxy-phenylalanine

A radioactive substance or tracer that is used in a PET scan to detect the location of NETs. Also called flurodopa or 18F-DOPA.

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5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) test

A substance that is broken down (metabolized) from serotonin. A high level of 5-HIAA in a 24-hour urine test sample can be used to confirm whether a person’s symptoms, such as flushing of the skin (particularly the face) and diarrhea, are due to carcinoid syndrome. 5-HIAA also can be done by blood known as the 5-HIAA Serum.

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Ablation

The destruction or removal of a body part, like a part of an organ, a growth, or some internal structure. Ablation can be done with surgery, heat, radio waves, hormones, or drugs.

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Adrenal gland

A gland near the top of the kidney that creates hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. Your body has 2 adrenal glands.

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Adrenaline

A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called epinephrine.

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Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

A hormone also known as corticotrophin. It is produced by the anterior pituitary gland.

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Adverse events

Another name for side effects.

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AFINITOR (Everolimus)

Oral chemotherapy indicated for the treatment of adult patients with advanced or high grade Neuroendocrine Tumors.

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Aggressive

A term used to describe the speed or extent to which a tumor grows and spreads.

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Benign Tumor

A noncancerous growth that does not invade nearby tissue or spread from one part of the body to another.

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Biomarker

A substance that can be found in the blood or in the body that is associated with the presence of disease. In cancers, specific biomarkers can point to the presence of specific cancers. With names like CA 125 (which can indicate ovarian cancer) and CEA (which can mean lung, ovarian, breast, pancreatic, or digestive tract tumors), biomarkers are also called tumor markers. Some biomarkers related to carcinoid tumors are CgA and Ki-67

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Biopsy

A procedure where a small amount of tissue is removed from the body and examined under a microscope or using other tests to find out if there is a tumor.

 

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CAPTEM (Capecitabine and Temozolomide)

Chemotherapy treatment for advanced metastatic and high grade neuroendocrine tumors.

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Carcinoid

Has the same meaning as NET or GEP-NET. The words may be used in place of one another.

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Carcinoid Crisis

The onset of all the symptoms of Carcinoid Syndrome at once. Sudden flushing of the face or upper body, a rapid and serious drop in blood pressure, and—less frequently—asthma, are all signs of carcinoid crisis. Carcinoid crisis is the most serious, life-threatening aspect of Carcinoid Syndrome, and may mimic an anaphylactic attack. It’s important to seek medical care for carcinoid crisis. Treating a carcinoid crisis with epinephrine, the most commonly used medicine for an anaphylactic attack, will make the crisis worse.

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Carcinoid heart disease

A specific variety of heart disease that can come from not regulated or prolonged Carcinoid Syndrome. Carcinoid heart disease can cause part of the heart to become obstructed by fibrous deposits, limiting its ability to pump. The exact cause is unknown, but doctors suspect that excess serotonin in the body may play a role.

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Carcinoid Syndrome

A set of symptoms that occur when a functional NET that releases the hormone serotonin begins to spread or metastasize. The symptoms may be sudden or severe. This is not to be confused with Serotonin Syndrome which is caused by the use of certain serotonergic medications or drugs.

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Carcinoid tumors or Carcinoids

A type of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). The term is used to describe gastrointestinal NETs or gastroenteropancreatic NETs (GEP-NETs).

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Carcinoma

Cancer that starts in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.

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Catecholamines

A type of neurohormone (a chemical that is 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. High levels of catecholamines in the urine or blood may indicate the presence of NETs.

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