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Glossary Term

pancreatic endocrine cancer     (PAN-kree-A-tik EN-doh-krin KAN-ser)

A rare cancer that forms in islet cells (hormone-making cells) of the pancreas. 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 cancers make extra amounts of these hormones, which can cause symptoms. Nonfunctional pancreatic endocrine cancers do not make extra amounts of hormones, but they may cause symptoms as they grow and spread. Also called islet cell carcinoma.