Information for Patients
Also called: Benign neoplasms, Noncancerous tumors
Tumors are abnormal growths in your body. They can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer. Malignant ones are. Benign tumors grow only in one place. They cannot spread or invade other parts of your body. Even so, they can be dangerous if they press on vital organs, such as your brain.
Tumors are made up of extra cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as your body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when your body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form tumor.
Treatment often involves surgery. Benign tumors usually don't grow back.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Biopsy - polyps (Medical Encyclopedia)
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Carcinoid tumors are rare, slow-growing cancers. They usually start in the lining of the digestive tract or in the lungs. They grow slowly and don't produce symptoms in the early stages. As a result, the average age of people diagnosed with digestive or lung carcinoids is about 60.
In later stages the tumors sometimes produce hormones that can cause carcinoid syndrome. The syndrome causes flushing of the face and upper chest, diarrhea, and trouble breathing.
Surgery is the main treatment for carcinoid tumors. If they haven't spread to other parts of the body, surgery can cure the cancer.
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Your endocrine system includes eight major glands throughout your body. These glands make hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work slowly and affect body processes from head to toe. These include
- Growth and development
- Metabolism - digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature
- Sexual function
If your hormone levels are too high or too low, you may have a hormone disorder. Hormone diseases also occur if your body does not respond to hormones the way it is supposed to. Stress, infection and changes in your blood's fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels.
In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes. Hormone supplements can help if the problem is too little of a hormone.
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- Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) II (Medical Encyclopedia)
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