Stages of Islet Cell Tumors (Endocrine Pancreas)
There are no standard stages for islet cell tumors.
The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. There is no standard staging system for islet cell cancer. The tumors are treated based on where the cancer is found:
- The cancer is found in one place in the pancreas.
- The cancer is found in several places in the pancreas.
- The cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the pancreas or to other parts of the body such as the liver, lung, peritoneum, or bone.
The type of treatment depends on the results of tests and procedures used to diagnose islet cell tumors.
The results of the tests and procedures used to diagnoseislet cell tumors and determine whether the cancer has spread help decide the type of treatment that will be used. See the General Information section for a description of these tests and procedures.
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:
- Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
- Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
- Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.
When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.