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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by affecting their ability to grow.

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Chromogranin A or CgA

A protein that is secreted by neuroendocrine tissues. It may be used as a marker in blood tests or tissue samples to detect NETs. It is one of the most important tumor markers for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs).

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Cryosurgery

A procedure in which the tumor is frozen to destroy cancerous tissue.

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Debulking

A type of surgery that is used to remove as much of the cancer as possible to make chemotherapy or radiation possible or more effective. Debulking may be performed when it is not possible to remove all of a tumor.

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Differentiation/differentiated Cells

In normal cells, differentiation is the process that changes a general, less specialized cell to a more specialized cell that has a specific job in the body. In tumor cells, differentiation refers to how developed the cells are. Differentiated tumor cells look like normal cells. Undifferentiated, or poorly differentiated, tumor cells don’t have the structure of normal cells, and don’t work the way normal cells do. Poorly differentiated tumor cells usually have a better chance of being malignant.

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Dopamine

A hormone and neurotransmitter released by the brain. High levels of dopamine in the urine or blood may indicate the presence of NETs.

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Duodenum

The first part of the small intestine, connected to the stomach. The duodenum gets enzymes from the pancreas and chemicals from the liver and the gallbladder to help with digestion.

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Endocrine System

The system of the body that generates hormones, the chemical messengers that allow the body to function in many ways. Hormones control many bodily functions such as metabolism, mood, growth, and reproduction.

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Endoscopic Resection

A surgical procedure where a thin instrument consisting of a light, a lens, and a surgical tool is inserted through the mouth and down through the digestive tract to the site of the tumor.

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Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)

A radioactive substance or tracer that is used in a PET scan to identify the presence of certain tumor types within the body.

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Functional Nueroendocrine Tumor

A NET that releases hormones and may cause many different symptoms. Also called a secretory NET.

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Gallium-68

A radioactive substance or tracer that is injected into the body and can be used to identify specific neuroendocrine cancer cells during a PET scan.

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Gastrin

A hormone released by the pancreas that tells your stomach to produce digestive acids and enzymes. Gastrin can be used as a marker in blood tests to detect and monitor NETs.

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Gastroenteropancreatic NET (GEP-NET)

A NET that most often starts in the gastrointestinal tract.

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Gastrointestinal (GI) tract

Another name for the digestive system. It includes the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus.

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Glucagon

A hormone released by the pancreas that raises glucose (sugar) levels in your blood. Measuring the presence of glucagon in the blood can be used to detect and monitor NETs occurring in the pancreas.

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Growth Hormone- releasing factor (GRF)

A chemical released by the brain that tells the pituitary gland to produce growth hormone.

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Hepatic Chemoembolization

Also known as hepatic artery embolization (HAE) or trans arterial embolization (TACE). A therapeutic method used to treat primary liver tumors, and cancer tumors that have spread to the liver (metastatic liver tumors).

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Histamine

A natural hormone produced and stored within the body. It is a part of the body’s immune response and is released during an allergic reaction. Symptoms of gastrointestinal NETs (GI-NETs) may be caused by an excessive release of histamine.

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Hormone

A substance, usually a protein, that is released and travels through the bloodstream to different organs. Hormones help control how some of the organs in the body work.

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