How Pancreatic NET Starts and Spreads

How pNET starts and spreads

Cancer cells are abnormal versions of healthy cells. So, they grow in a way similar to healthy cells. Here is how these cells grow and spread:

  • A single pNET cell grows and divides to form 2 cells. These 2 cells divide to form 4 cells. This process repeats, again and again
  • Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells do not respond to your body’s cues telling them to stop growing
  • tumor can be detected once enough cancer cells are made
  • Some cancer cells may enter the bloodstream, spreading from the pancreas to other parts of the body
  • New tumors may arise in other organs. If this happens, the cancer is known as metastatic. But no matter where the cancer spreads, it will still be called pNET because it started in the neuroendocrine cells of the pancreas

There are 2 types of pNET:

  • Functional tumors release much higher than average levels of hormones into the bloodstream
  • Nonfunctional tumors do not release hormones into the bloodstream
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