NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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islet cell tumor (I-let sel TOO-mer)
A tumor that forms
in islet cells (hormone-making cells) of the pancreas.
Islet cell tumors may be
benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Islet cells make
several different hormones that affect body functions,
including controlling the amount of glucose (sugar) in the
blood and helping digest food in the stomach. Functional
islet cell tumors make extra
amounts of these hormones, which can cause symptoms.
Nonfunctional islet cell tumors
do not make extra amounts of hormones, but they may cause
symptoms as they grow and spread. Also called pancreatic endocrine tumor and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.