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Endocrine cancer

If you have endocrine cancer, you may be anxiously researching how the endocrine system works and why it's so important. Most of us don't give our endocrine system much thought until something goes wrong, and we need to find a medical specialist who can help.

The Christ Hospital Health Network is home to some of the area's most respected endocrine cancer experts. We have experience distinguishing unusual endocrine tumors from other medical problems with similar symptoms.

And by providing a precise diagnosis, we can also prescribe the right combination of treatment options. We'll get you back on your feet, and your endocrine system back in good working order.

About endocrine cancer

Your endocrine system is a network of glands spread throughout your body. Glands produce chemicals (hormones) that regulate many important bodily functions. These include your mood, metabolism, growth and sleep.

Some of the major glands that make up our endocrine system include:

  • Thyroid gland—the thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in your neck. It produces hormones that control your metabolism.

  • Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) - Inside your endocrine glands are specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. If these cells are damaged in any way—and multiply instead of dying off—they can grow into abnormal masses like carcinoid tumors (gastrointestinal and lung carcinoid tumors), islet cell tumors (also known as pancreatic NETs), merkel cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine carcinoma and pheochromocytoma.

  • Pancreas—while many people think of the pancreas as a digestive organ, it is really a gland located behind the stomach. It produces important hormones that help maintain your blood sugar levels. These include insulin and glucagon.

  • Parathyroid glands—the parathyroids are four tiny glands in your neck. They regulate your body's calcium levels.

  • Adrenal glands—we each have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. They produce several hormones including corticosteroids and epinephrine. These hormones regulate your body's response to stress as well as other important functions.

  • Pituitary gland—often called the "master gland," the pituitary gland releases hormones that help regulate the ovaries, testes, thyroid and other glands.

Because there are so many kinds of endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors, affecting different glands and interfering with different hormones, symptoms and survival rates vary greatly.

If you feel unwell and can't pinpoint why, talk to your primary care provider. He or she can order blood tests or other diagnostic tests.

Why choose The Christ Hospital Health Network

If you have endocrine cancer, you deserve treatment from cancer and endocrinology specialists who are both caring and capable.

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, our cancer care team has the right blend of training and experience necessary to treat complicated—and uncommon—endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors. 

We also know that medical treatments are just one piece of the total care you need. When you choose us for your endocrine cancer care, you'll receive one-on-one attention and exceptional service in a nurturing environment. Program highlights include:

  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy of thyroid nodules and access to molecular testing to improve diagnosis and treatment plus eliminate the need for repeat surgical thyroid biopsies.

  • Multidisciplinary tumor board to ensure the best diagnosis, treatment, and help guide the management of your care

  • Ability to perform thyrogen stimulation, nuclear scan and ablation for thyroid cancer all in one location. 

  • For patients needing surgery, endocrinologists will provide the procedure at The Christ Hospital to facilitate appropriate hormone replacement and long-term follow-up care.

We also offer a robust menu of support services including nutrition consultations, integrative medicine programs, financial counseling and referrals to support groups.

Learn how endocrine cancers are diagnosed and treated at The Christ Hospital Health Network.