A

Atrophic Gastritis

Inflammation of the lining of the stomach caused by infection from the bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori, and a risk factor for stomach cancer.


C

Carcinoid Crisis

Carcinoid crisis causes a severe episode of flushing, low blood pressure, confusion and breathing difficulty. Carcinoid crisis can occur in people with carcinoid tumors when they are exposed to certain triggers, including anesthesia used during surgery. Carcinoid crisis can be fatal. Your doctor may give you medications before surgery to reduce the risk of carcinoid crisis.

 

Carcinoid Syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors.

 

Carcinoid Tumors

Well to moderately differentiated neuroendocrine tumors in the stomach, intestine, appendix, rectum, and lung.

 

Chemotherapy

Anti-cancer drugs that are given either by mouth or by injection into a vein or muscle to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, carcinoid tumors often do not respond well to chemo. Because of this, chemo generally is used only for tumors that have spread to other organs, are causing severe symptoms, and have not responded to other medicines.

 

Chromogranin A (CgA)

A sensitive biomarker in the blood of patients used to detect neuroendocrine tumors.

 

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

A CT scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.

 

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.


E

Endocrine System

Consists of cells that produce hormones. Hormones are chemical substances that are carried through the bloodstream to have specific regulatory effect on the activity of other organs or cells in the body. Part of the endocrine system is the neuroendocrine system, which is made up of cells that are a cross between traditional hormone-producing cells and nerve cells. 


G

Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (GEP-NETs)

Tumors that originate in neuroendocrine cells of the embryological gut. Most commonly, the primary lesion is located in the gastric mucosa, the small and large intestine, the rectum and pancreas.

 

Gastrointestinal Tract

Also known as the GI tract or digestive system, it is the organ system that is responsible for consuming and digesting foods, absorbing nutrients from food and expelling waste. It includes the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum and anus.


H

Hormone

Chemical substances that are carried through the bloodstream to have specific regulatory effect on the activity of other organs or cells in the body.


I

Insulin

A hormone made by the pancreas that helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A group of symptoms—including pain or discomfort in your abdomen and changes in your bowel movement patterns—that occur together.


M

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

An MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to look at organs and structures inside your body.


N

Neuroendocrine Cells

Cells found mainly in the gastrointestinal tract but also scattered throughout the chest and abdomen, which release hormones into the blood in response to a signal from the nervous system. Neuroendocrine cells help control the release of digestive juices and how fast food moves in the GI tract. They may also help control the growth of other types of digestive system cells.

 

Neuroendocrine System

Part of the endocrine system and comprised of cells that are a cross between traditional hormone-producing cells and nerve cells.


P

Pancreas

A pear-shaped gland located in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine. It is about six inches long and releases enzymes that help the body digest food. The pancreas also produces insulin, which helps control the amount of sugar in the blood.

 

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors that form in hormone-making cells (islet cells) of the pancreas.

 

Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT)

A form of molecular targeted therapy which is performed by using a small peptide that is coupled with a radionuclide emitting beta radiation. PRRT is a novel nuclear medicine therapy for the systemic treatment of metastasized neuroendocrine tumors.

 

Primary Tumor

The original, or first, tumor in the body. Cancer cells can spread from a primary tumor to other parts of the body and form secondary tumors. This process is called metastasis.


R

Radiation

The use of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.

 

Resection

The surgical removal of an organ or structure, such as a tumor.


S

Secondary Tumor (metastasis)

A tumor that forms from cancer cells that spread from a primary tumor to other parts of the body. The secondary tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor.

 

Somatostatin

A hormone known for its ability to slow the release of other hormones and slow cell growth in the body.


T

Thyroid

A gland that is part of the endocrine system and regulates hormones in the body. The thyroid absorbs iodine from the bloodstream to produce thyroid hormones, which in turn regulate metabolism.


Z

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

A syndrome marked by severe recurrent stomach ulcers, esophageal reflux and diarrhea. It results from the overproduction of stomach acid caused by rare neuroendocrine tumors.