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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. MRI makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as CT or x-ray. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones. Also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.
Malabsorption syndrome
A group of symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea resulting from the body's inability to properly absorb nutrients. Often seen after surgical resection of the small bowel ( short bowel syndrome) or as a side effect of treatment with octreotide. Usually treated with pancreatic enzymes.
Malignant carcinoid syndrome
Synonymous with carcinoid syndrome.
Malignant tumor
A tumor made up of cancer cells of the type that can spread to other parts of the body.
Mammogram (Mammography)
A low-dose X ray / picture of the breasts to determine whether abnormal growths or cysts are present.
Mast cell disease (Mastocytosis)
Also known as Systemic Mast Cell Disease, Systemic Mastocytosis, Urticaria pigmentosa. Mastocytosis (mas-toe-sigh-toe-sis) is a disorder caused by having too many mast cells in a person's body. Mast cells are a kind of blood cell that are located in the skin, the linings of the stomach and intestine, and connective tissue (such as cartilage or tendons). Mast cells are important for survival. They help defend the skin, stomach, and intestine against disease. Mast cells are also involved in wound healing. Chemicals released by mast cells cause physiological changes that lead to typical allergic responses such as hives, itching, abdominal cramping, and even shock. When too many mast cells exist in a person's body, the additional chemicals can cause bone pain, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, ulcers, diarrhea, skin lesions, and episodes of hypotension (very low blood pressure and faintness) or anaphylaxis (shock).
Mastectomy
The surgical removal of the breast.
Mastectomy - Segmental (lumpectomy)
Removal of the lump and a small amount of surrounding breast tissue.
Mastectomy - Simple (modified mastectomy)
Removal of the entire breast.
Mastectomy - Radical
Removal of the entire breast along with underlying muscle and lymph nodes of the armpit.
 
Mean
A statistics term. The average value in a set of measurements. The mean is the sum of a set of numbers divided by how many numbers are in the set.
Median
A statistics term. The middle value in a set of measurements.
Mediastinum
The area between the lungs. The organs in this area include the heart and its large blood vessels, the trachea, the esophagus, the bronchi, and lymph nodes.
Melanoma
A cancer of the pigment-forming cells of the skin or the retina of the eye.
MEN 1
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome. A rare, inherited disorder that affects the endocrine glands and can cause tumors in the parathyroid and pituitary glands and the pancreas. These tumors (usually benign) cause the glands to secrete high levels of hormones, which can lead to other medical problems, such as kidney stones, fertility problems, and severe ulcers. In some cases, tumors inside the pancreas can become cancerous. Also called multiple endocrine adenomatosis and Wermer's syndrome.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin that is associated with a high incidence of recurrence and metastasis. For more indepth information visit this website for both patients and medical professionals.
Mesentery (Mesenteric membrane)
A double layer of peritoneum that attaches to the back wall of the abdominal cavity and supports the small intestines The peritoneal membrane that attaches the intestines to the abdominal wall near the back.
Metastasize (metastatic)
To spread from the first cancer site, for example, carcinoid cancer of the small intestine that spreads to the liver.
MIBG (therapy) (Iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine)
A systemic radionuclear therapy sometimes used in patients whose tumors can be strongly imaged with MIGB. Occasionally such tumors also benefit by treatment with MIBG not including radioactive iodine.
MIBG(scintiscan) (Iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine)
An iodine radioisotope (MIBG, iodine-131-meta-iodobenzylguanidine) is another type of a radionuclear scan using a substance called MIBG. MIBG is very similar to the hormone dopamine or the hormone adrenaline, which are secreted by many of the neuroendocrine tumors.MIBG is particularly useful in localization of the primary tumors or metastatic lesions in pheochromocytoma and related tumors of the autonomic nervous syetem such as paraganglioma, and can also be used to find a rarer type of tumor like medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. How good is the MIBG? It has a very high specificity. How does MIBG scan compare with OctreoScan in carcinoid patients? For most carcinoid tumors MIBG is not as good but it is used in some patients where OctreoScan is unavailable or is negative.
Mitosis
The process by which a single cell divides into two cells. Synonyms for mitosis are cell division, cell replication, cell growth or cell proliferation. Mitosis results in the production of two daughter cells from a single parent cell. The daughter cells are identical to one another and to the original parent cell.
Monoclonal antibodies
Artificially manufactured antibodies specifically designed to find targets oncancer cells for diagnostic or treatment purposes.
MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
A sophisticated test that provides in-depth images of organs and structures in the body. See also Magnetic resonance imaging.
mTOR
A protein that helps control several cell functions, including cell division and survival, and binds to rapamycin and other drugs. mTOR may be more active in some types of cancer cells than it is in normal cells. Blocking mTOR may cause the cancer cells to die. It is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase. Also called mammalian target of rapamycin.
Mucosa (Mucous membranes)
The lining of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.