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Glossary

 

A

Angiogram

A type of diagnostic imaging that uses X-rays enhanced with a radiographic contrast medium.

 

Atypical Carcinoid

Term sometimes used for a kind of neuroendocrine tumor (NET) in the lungs. A lung NET described as an atypical carcinoid tends to be faster growing than a typical carcinoid, but is not as aggressive as a “high-grade” lung NET.

 

B

Benign Tumor

Uncontrolled noncancerous cell growth.

 

Bronchodilator

An agent that causes an increase in the opening of the airway passages in the respiratory system.

 

C

Carcinoid Crisis

Carcinoid crisis is a dangerous condition that can occur at the time of surgery. It is characterized by a drop in blood pressure, sometimes accompanied by an abnormally fast heart rate. Carcinoid crisis can be fatal.

 

Chemoembolization

Injection of a chemotherapeutic drug into a blood vessel, along with an agent that causes the vessel to close, ensuring that the chemotherapeutic agent remains concentrated in the organ supplied by the vessel.

 

Chemotherapy
The use of chemical agents (drugs) in the treatment or control of a disease, usually cancer.

 

Chromogranin A (CgA) Test
Serum CgA is a blood test used to confirm the presence of a carcinoid tumor.

 

Chronic
Persisting over a long period of time.

 

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A scan that shows a thin cross-sectional slice through the body, achieved by taking a series of low-dose X-rays.

 

Cyanosis
A bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin due to a deficiency in blood oxygen levels.

 

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D

Differentiation

A term that describes how a tumor looks under a microscope compared to the normal tissue around it. If a NET is well differentiated, it may grow and spread very slowly. If a NET is poorly differentiated, it often grows and spreads rapidly.

 

Diuretics
Agents that help the body get rid of excess fluid.

 

Duodenum

The first part of the small intestine.

 

Dyspnea
Difficult or labored breathing.

 

E

Edema

An abnormal accumulation of fluid in connective tissues or body cavities.

 

Electrolytes

Substances such as sodium or potassium that can conduct electricity and are necessary to regulate most of the processes in the body.

 

Embolization

A procedure in which a blood vessel is intentionally blocked, either by injecting small pellets, or by injecting a substance that will cause a blood clot to be formed.

 

F

Flushing

A redness caused by vasodilation that commonly occurs on the face, trunk, or abdomen.

 

Functional Neuroendocrine Tumors (NET)

Functional NET make and release hormones.

 

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G

Gallium Scan

An imaging test that uses a small amount of a radioactive tracer to help find neuroendocrine tumors (NET) that may otherwise be missed.

 

Gastrinoma

A type of functional pancreatic NET.

 

Gastroenteropancreatic NET (GEP-NET)

A NET found in the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system) or pancreas.

 

Gastrointestinal Tract

The tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, in which the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food.

 

Glucose

A sugar found in many foods and in normal blood; the main source of energy for most living organisms.

 

Glucagonoma

A type of functional pancreatic NET.

H

5-HIAA (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid)

A by-product of serotonin, a substance normally secreted in the body, but produced in excess when a patient has functional carcinoid tumors; 5-HIAA is useful in the diagnosis of functional carcinoid tumors.

 

Heart Valvular Lesions

An abnormal change in the structure of the heart valves that can impair the heart’s function.

 

Hormone

A substance that is secreted by a cell that travels through the circulation to exert regulatory actions on other cells.

 

 

 

I

Islet Cell Tumor

A term used for a pancreatic NET (PNET).

 

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M

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A method of obtaining a thin cross-sectional X-ray view of a patient, using a large electromagnet to cause atoms in the body to emit radio waves.

 

Malignant Tumor

A cancerous tumor that invades adjacent tissues and spreads to other organs.

 

Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma

A NET found in the thyroid gland.

 

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

A NET of the skin. A type of skin cancer.

 

Metabolite

The by-product of a biochemical reaction within the body.

 

Metastasis

A new tumor produced by the transfer of cancer cells from the site of the original tumor.

 

Mucosa

A membrane rich in mucous glands. The gastrointestinal mucosa lines the stomach and intestines, supplying support, protection, and nutrients.

 

 

N

Neuroendocrine Tumor (NET)

Tumors arising in neuroendocrine cells throughout the body, most commonly occuring in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, or pancreas.

 

Nonfunctional NET

Nonfunctional NET do not make or release hormones.

 

O

Octreoscan™ (Kit for the Preparation of Indium In-111 Pentetreotide)

An imaging technique that uses a small amount of radioactive material injected into the body, which is then detected by a special type of camera.

 

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P

Pellagra

A disease whose symptoms include skin rash, caused by lack of niacin.

  

R

Radiotherapy

The use of radiation to kill rapidly growing tumor cells.

 

Respiratory

Pertaining to breathing.

 

S

Secrete

To release a substance produced by a tissue that may be retained in the body or released from the body.

 

Serotonin

A substance that acts as a blood vessel constrictor, which can also inhibit the normal functioning of the stomach.

 

Somatostatin

The naturally occurring hormone produced in many parts of the body that signals the pituitary gland to reduce the production of growth hormone (GH).

 

Syndrome

A group of signs and symptoms associated with a disease. 

 

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T

Telangiectasia

Red spots on the skin, caused by abnormally dilated capillary vessels.

 


Tumor
A tissue growth, characterized by uncontrolled multiplication of cells.

 

V

VIPoma

VIP stands for vasoactive intestinal peptide. A VIPoma is a tumor affecting tissue of the endocrine system, usually the pancreas.

 

W

Wheezing

Breathing with difficulty, usually accompanied by a whistling sound.

 

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