Glossary

5HiAA:  5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid is found in your urine. You may have higher levels of 5-HIAA in your urine if you have a carcinoid tumour

CgA:  Chromogranin A is a protein found inside neuroendocrine cells, which release chromogranin A and certain hormones into the blood. CgA is a type of tumour marker

Acute: A sudden onset of symptoms or disease

Adenoma: A benign tumor (noncancerous) made up of glandular tissue

Benign: A noncancerous growth that does not invade nearby tissue or spread from one part of the body to another

Biomarker: A substance sometimes found in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues

Biopsy: a procedure to remove a piece of your tumour to be investigated

Carcinoma: A malignant tumour that arises from epithelium, found in skin and the lining of body organs; for example, breast, prostate, lung, stomach or bowel. 

CHD:  Carcinoid Heart Disease

CR: colorectal – refers to the large bowel and rectum

CT scan: Computerised Tomography scan

Differentiation: describes how much or how little cancer cells looks like the normal cells they were

  • Well differentiated: the cells look like normal cells and are usually slow-growing

  • Moderately differentiated: the cells look more abnormal

  • Poorly differentiated: the cells look very abnormal. They are likely to grow more quickly and spread

Familial: relating to or occurring in a family – the words ‘genetic’ or ‘inherited’ may also be used

Gallium PET: Gallium positron emission tomography. A gallium scan is a diagnostic test that uses radioactive metal (gallium), which is mixed into a solution.

GEP-NET – a Neuroendocrine Tumour of the GastroEnteroPancreatic system – in other words a NET that may occur in the stomach, duodenum, small bowel or pancreas

GI NET: – a Neuroendocrine Tumour that may occur in the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum or small bowel

gNET:  gastric (stomach) Neuroendocrine Tumour

Histology:  What the tumours look like under a microscope

HPB: Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary – refers to the liver, pancreas and bile duct system

Ki-67: is a protein in cells that increases as they prepare to divide. If there is a high percentage of cells in an area with Ki-67, it means that the cells are dividing rapidly. The Ki-67 index is an indicator of how quickly the tumor cells are multiplying

MDM:  Multidisciplinary Meeting

Malignant tumour: A tumour made up of cancer cells of the type that can spread to other parts of the body

MEN1: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome. A rare, inherited disorder that affects the endocrine glands and can cause tumours in the parathyroid and pituitary glands and the pancreas. These tumours (usually benign) cause the glands to secrete high levels of hormones, which can lead to other medical problems, such as kidney stones, fertility problems, and severe ulcers

Merkel Cell Carcinoma: (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine tumour of the skin

Mesentery: A double layer of peritoneum that attaches to the back wall of the abdominal cavity and supports the small intestines The peritoneal membrane that attaches the intestines to the abdominal wall near the back

Metastasize:  To spread from the first cancer site, for example, carcinoid cancer of the small intestine that spreads to the liver

Mitotic count: how quickly cells divide to make new tumour cells. To determine the mitotic count, the doctor counts the number of dividing cells seen in a specific amount of space under a microscope (2 mm2)

MRI: A sophisticated test that provides in-depth images of organs and structures in the body

Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, or NEC: is a Neuroendocrine Cancer that has a particular appearance under the microscope – these abnormal changes are called poorly differentiated

Non-functioning: where neuroendocrine cancer cells usually retain their ability to release normal amounts of hormone or chemicals

Paraganglioma: (also known as an extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma) is a rare neuroendocrine tumour (NET) that forms near the carotid artery (the major blood vessels in the neck), along nerve pathways in the head and neck and in other parts of the body

PDNEC:  Poorly-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Carcinoma

Pheochromocytoma:  is a hormone-secreting tumour that usually develop in the small glands on top of the kidneys (adrenal glands)

pNET: pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumour

Primary Cancer: is a term used to describe where, in the body, a cancer starts – for example Pancreas

Receptor: A molecule inside or on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific substance and causes a specific physiologic effect in the cell

SSA:  somatostatin analogue. Somatostatin analogues are drugs that stop your body from making too many hormones

Secondary Cancer: is a term used to describe cancer has that has spread beyond the primary site. May also be describe as metastasis (for one secondary cancer) or metastases (to described more than one secondary cancer)

Tumour: a a collection of abnormal cells – a growth, lesion, nodule or polyp

WDNET: Well-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Tumour

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