Normally, a tumor on a human being’s body is considered a medical issue. As a whole, tumors are seen as accidental growths or mutations inside or outside of the body. Some tumors have been recorded to be more aggressive than others by being cancerous or obstructive. Although tumors have a long list of negative qualities, there are some cases in which a tumor can possibly be beneficial. In fact, “a rare, benign tumor that grows in the pancreas may give doctors the tools they need to help people with diabetes make more insulin” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). Diabetes is a disease that has plagued America as a steadily growing epidemic. In recent years, there has been an advance in scientific research concerning the disease known as diabetes. If this tumor produces a hormone that could advance the treatments of diabetic patients, then this is a viable option for diabetic research. Furthermore, “these tumors are called insulinomas because they secrete the hormone insulin in excessive amounts. People with diabetes don’t have enough insulin to cover their bodies’ basic needs for the hormone” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). Because these tumors are so rare, their occurrences are in a since, treasured in the medical science community. If a cure can be synthesized from this tumor, that cure will signify the possible end to a life threating disease. After understanding what this tumor is, diabetic patients can gain a better understanding of how this tumor can be used to save both their lives, as well as the lives of others with the same medical condition.
Not much is known about the form of tumor referred to as an “insulinoma”. This category of tumor is not considered cancerous or malignant. In fact, this tumor is considered benign by medical officials. Outside of not being cancerous, this tumor only effects the blood sugar levels of the tumor’s host body. Based on scientific observations, “insulinomas produce excessive amounts of insulin and this causes low blood sugar. The typical symptoms that patients complain about are related to the development of low bloods sugar and include tiredness, weakness, tremulous and hunger. Many patients have to eat frequently to prevent symptoms from the low blood sugar. Some patients may develop psychiatric symptoms because of the low blood sugar” (University of Southern California). Overall, this tumor is essentially harmless when in the normally healthy human body. However, the insulinoma tumor can cause several future health complications if left untreated. In several cases, other serious health conditions can occur as a result of neglect for an insulinoma tumor. Medical records have shown that “Insulinomas can be a cause of diabetes if the treatment of insulinoma requires a significant amount of the pancreas to be removed” (University of Southern California). Medical records have shown that insulinomas can cause diabetes, however another question arises from this fact. Now, medical physicians are asking “how these tumors could be used to treat diabetes”, as opposed to causing it.
After discovering that there is a rare tumor that secretes insulin, the medical community immediately wanted to utilize this form of health issue. Physicians are constantly on the search for new medicinal supplements or procedures. Procedures that involve insulin are vital to the diabetic community for intense health reasons. By definition, “Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia)” (Amy Hess-Fischl MS). If the insulin from this tumor can be isolated, then that insulin can be used to treat diabetic patients. However, every patients body reacts differently to certain chemicals, including insulin. For diabetics, insulin sensitivity is not exactly a universal concept among the people who carry this condition. For instance, “People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia” (Amy Hess-Fischl MS). Based on that information, patients with type one diabetes would not entirely benefit from receiving insulin injections. However, there are other types of diabetes that need to examined. In some cases of diabetes, there are individuals that have much more advanced cases. Many studies have shown that “people with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process sugar and to prevent long-term complications from this disease” (Amy Hess-Fischl MS). Diabetes has its complexities outside of the general text-book example of diabetes or insulin deficiency. These difficulties can only be eradicated by the development of a cure.
The insulinoma tumor is a rare medical condition that can be developed in any given individual. Medical professionals are very curious about how this tumor is developed. Many of the individuals that have formed these tumors in the past have not had many medical issues in their background. This is why so many doctors and medical scientists want to discover so much about this tumor. In an effort to discover the true possibilities of these tumors several “researchers thought by mapping the genetic makeup of insulinoma tumors, they might come up with the genomic recipe for regenerating the beta cells that produce insulin. And if they could use that “recipe” to make a drug that would trigger the body to make insulin, they could treat — or possibly even reverse – diabetes” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). This tumor is important because it possess the main hormone that is necessary for diabetic care. Insulin production is a difficult task to perform for an individual with diabetes. However, insulin levels and insulin sensitivity would not be an issue if the medical condition diabetes, never existed. Many doctors believe that “with the information from this new study, the researchers hope to find or develop drugs that could work on one of those newly identified pathways. But it’s important that the pathway doesn’t have any other serious effects” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). Because this future drug would be developed from a tumor, doctors understand that precautions need to be taken. To prevent other medical conditions, several steps of safety measures must be taken by medical professionals. Based on the amount of data gathered from various studies, there is “a concern that a drug like an insulinoma could cause the body to produce too much insulin, leading to potentially dangerous side effects” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). As more data is being collected, the possibility of creating a solution for diabetes from a insulinoma tumor is growing stronger.
Currently, there is a large space between the diabetic population and the possibility of finding a cure. As more experiments are being conducted, there is a greater demand for a cure for diabetes. Currently, no actual drugs have been synthesized from an insulinoma tumor. More recent studies state that “a therapy developed from these pathways would likely be for people with type 2 diabetes first. People with type 1 diabetes have the added issue of the autoimmune attack, which could destroy any newly made cells” (Andrew Stewart, M.D). Overall, the idea of creating a cure for diabetes is still a distant concept. However, as long as medical professionals work towards finding a cure for diabetes, this disease can be controlled and the lifestyle of a diabetic patient can be enhanced.
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