Q: What is the difference between a neuroendocrine tumor and pancreatic cancer?


A:  They are two different types of cancer that affect the pancreas. Neuroendocrine tumors originate from the endocrine cells of the pancreas, which are the cells that produce hormones (such as insulin, which regulates the sugar level in the blood). Pancreatic cancer originates from the cells that line the ducts that carry secretions for the purpose of food digestion. This cancer is the most frequent type of cancer and it is particularly dangerous. On the contrary, endocrine tumors have a spectrum of variable malignancy, however, in a majority of cases they are benign or malignant in a sense that they behave in an indolent way. There are different types of surgical treatments for these tumors, yet the one most effective is hormone therapy and chemotherapy combined together.