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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


neuroendocrine tumor  listen  (NOOR-oh-EN-doh-krin TOO-mer)

  A tumor that forms from cells that release hormones into the blood in response to a signal from the nervous system. Neuroendocrine tumors may make higher-than-normal amounts of hormones, which can cause many different symptoms. These tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Some examples of neuroendocrine tumors are carcinoid tumors, islet cell tumors, medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytomas, neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin (Merkel cell cancer), small cell lung cancer, and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (a rare type of lung cancer).