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Glucagonoma is a very rare tumor of the islet cells of the pancreas, which leads to an excess of the hormone glucagon in the blood.
Glucagonoma is usually cancerous (malignant). The cancer tends to spread and get worse.
This cancer affects the islet cells of the pancreas. As a result, the islet cells produce too much of the hormone glucagon.
The cause is unknown, but genetic factors play a role in some cases. A family history of the syndrome Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type I (MEN I) is a risk factor.
Jensen RT, Norton JA. Endocrine tumors of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 32.
National Cancer Institute. Islet cell tumors (pancreatic) treatment PDQ. Updated October 31, 2008.
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