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About Advanced Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PNETs)
Neuroendorcrine tumors (NETs) can occur in different parts of your body. If they originate in the pancreas, they are called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors or PNETs. In patients with advanced PNETs, the tumor cells have spread to other organs in the body.
What are endocrine cells?
Endocrine cells are special cells in your body that affect your nervous system and your endocrine system.
Your nervous system sends signals to the organs in your body to keep them working the right way.
Your endocrine system controls the hormones in your body. Hormones act like messengers bringing information to your brain to keep your body working properly. Hormones control many processes in the body, including growth and development.
The nervous system and endocrine system work together to keep your body working normally. If neuroendocrine cells start to grow out of control, they can form tumors.
What are the types of advanced PNETs?
Advanced PNETs can be functional or nonfunctional.
- (Functional) PNETs make hormones that cause disease symptoms
- (Nonfunctional) PNETs make hormones that do not cause any symptoms. This makes nonfunctional PNETs hard to detect
Understanding how a tumor starts to grow
Cells divide to make new cells when needed. They stop dividing when there are enough cells. But sometimes cells do not stop dividing.
If cells continue to divide after there are enough cells, the extra mass formed by these cells may become cancer cells. These cells can build up into a tumor (a growth or mass of cells) that is either benign (a growth that is not cancer) or malignant (a cancerous tumor that grows and spreads through the body).
Important Safety Information
AFINITOR® (everolimus) Tablets can cause serious side effects, including lung or breathing problems, infections, and kidney failure, which can lead to death. Patients who take an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor medicine during treatment with AFINITOR are at a possible increased risk for a type of allergic reaction called angioedema. AFINITOR can cause incisions to heal slowly or not heal well. Mouth ulcers and mouth sores are common side effects, occurring in up to 86% of patients taking AFINITOR. AFINITOR can affect blood cell counts, kidney and liver function, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Regular blood tests should be performed before starting AFINITOR and as needed during treatment to check blood cell count, kidney and liver function, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
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