Thursday, November 7, 2013

4th Annual Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day

Grevys zebra

No, I promise you, I do not have a recipe for cooking a zebra today!!!  But the image of a zebra has become a favorite of mine because it is the designated logo for NET cancer.

What is NET cancer?  Neuroendocrine tumors (NETS) are tumors that arise in the neuroendocrine cells in the body.  Neuroendocrine cells are located in the nervous system and in the endocrine system.  NETS are found most commonly in the lung or gastrointestinal system, but they can also originate in other parts of the body, such as the pancreas and ovary, among other sites. NET cancers are usually slower growing compared to other types of cancer, but are deadly, nonetheless.  The type of cancer that I was diagnosed with in 1998 is a neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas. 

But I bet you are still wondering why the zebra is designated as the logo for NET cancer. In medical school, doctors are taught, "when hearing hoof beats  think horses, not zebras." But NET cancers are considered "rare" and therefore may be considered to be a "zebra".  Studies show that about 5 out of 100,000 people are diagnosed with a NET tumor of some type each year.

NETS are listed with the National Organization of Rare Disorders and because of their rarity and due to a lack of public awareness, the disease has had low priority for medical research. Please help me in the effort to bring more awareness to NET cancer on Sunday, November 10 which is designated as the 4th Annual Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day. I have also listed other valuable resources about NET cancer.  

4th Annual Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day

NET Cancer Day, November 10, 2013
The 4th Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day will be held internationally on November 10, 2013.  Here's what YOU can do to help spread awareness of NET Cancer.  

1)Sign the Proclamation in support of the awareness campaign,

2)View NET Cancer Day videos on YouTube: 
I found these videos incredibly inspiring and uplifting!

3)Sign up for the NET Cancer Day e-newsletter

Here are some other useful resources to learn more about NET tumors.  You will see the term "carcinoid" in some of these resources.  Carcinoid is a part of a group of NET tumors, but the websites listed below address NETs and carcinoid.  

Carcinoid Cancer Foundation
This is the most comprehensive and informative site dedicated to supporting patients diagnosed with a NET.

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation
This foundation has awarded over 6 million dollars in research grants to leading scientists working to discover better diagnosis and treatment options for NETs.

Carcinoid Cancer AwarenssNetwork
This site emphasizes ways to increase awareness of NETS and carcinoid.

This link  highlights NET cancer awareness efforts worldwide, but it also contains great videos about NET cancer, some from physicians

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