NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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pancreatic endocrine tumor (PAN-kree-A-tik EN-doh-krin TOO-mer)
A tumor that forms
in islet cells (hormone-making cells) of the pancreas.
Pancreatic endocrine 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
pancreatic endocrine tumors make extra
amounts of these hormones, which can cause symptoms.
Nonfunctional pancreatic endocrine tumors
do not make extra amounts of hormones, but they may cause
symptoms as they grow and spread. Also called islet cell tumor and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.