World Neuroendocrine Tumor (NET) Cancer Day is observed on 10 November every year. As the name suggests, the day is marked to raise awareness about Neuroendocrine cancer.
On NET Cancer Day, patients dealing with the ailment share their journey of battle with cancer, giving more information and talking about how the diagnosis and treatment of NET need to evolve and can be improved.
For the unversed, Neuroendocrine is a very uncommon form of cancer that erupts in the pancreas, abdomen, bowel, lungs, or reproductive organs. However, NET cancer has a history of being frequently misdiagnosed as it is generally mistaken for anxiety, asthma, diabetes, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Hence, by the time NETs are diagnosed, around 60 percent of patients reach an advanced growth stage or a secondary growth stage (stage 4 cancer).
World Neuroendocrine Cancer Day is coordinated by the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) and is an opportunity for those affected by this cancer to share a message with the whole world regarding symptoms, treatment, and care.
The INCA is a 26-member organization from around 22 countries that aims to pay attention to the unmet needs of Neuroendocrine cancer patients and also addresses the challenges faced by people suffering from this ailment. The mission of INCA is to be the voice of Neuroendocrine Patients along with pushing for scientific advancements.
INCA also guides people throughout the world in securing a timely diagnosis, receiving care and optimal treatment, and giving support to NET patients.
Symptoms and Diagnosis:
Since Neuroendocrine cancer can take time to be correctly identified, it can be misunderstood as other conditions such as menopause, IBS, or blood pressure. NET cancer can occur in various parts of the body such as skin, liver, or stomach, hence finding them out can be a difficult task.
A fasting gut hormone profile, a 24-hour urine collection test, 2D and 3D scan for images of NET and areas around them, along with several detailed radiology scans can help in an early diagnosis. It is advised to immediately consult a doctor once the patient faces symptoms of NET.
Zebra has been chosen by the NET cancer community as their International symbol as the animal is universally used as a reference to a rare disease or condition by the medical community.