WORLD NET CANCER DAY
On November 10th, World NET Cancer Day increases awareness for neuroendocrine tumors (NET). This day also provides a voice for the NET community to improve diagnostics, treatment, and research.
Neuroendocrine tumors are cancers that begin in neuroendocrine cells. These cells are similar to nerve cells as they send or receive messages within the nervous system. These specialized cells also work like hormones. Neuroendocrine tumors occur in certain parts of the body, such as the lungs, appendix, rectum, small intestine, and pancreas. Some tumors grow slowly and others more quickly. Common symptoms include pain, lumps under the skin, fatigue, and weight loss. When these tumors produce excess hormones, the symptoms might also include diarrhea, frequent urination, increased thirst, and dizziness.
Because these symptoms are similar to other illnesses, it is difficult to diagnose neuroendocrine tumors or NET cancer. Over 90 percent of all NET patients receive incorrect diagnoses. Initially, these patients get treated for the wrong disease. It’s not uncommon for NET patients to go up to 7 years with incorrect treatment. When doctors finally diagnose the disease correctly, the cancer has usually spread to other parts of the body. For these reasons, NET cancer awareness is of utmost importance.
More than 12,000 people a year in the United States are diagnosed with NET cancers. There are currently about 125,000 patients living with the disease. The number of cases is expected to increase by 5 percent each year. Well-known people to have died from NET cancer include Aretha Franklin and Steve Jobs.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldNETCancerDay
On this day, INCA members worldwide partner with cafes in their community to promote their “Let’s Talk About NETs” branded cups. This event invites NET patients to inspire others to become ambassadors for NET cancer. Other events include educational webinars, conferences, and strides for stripes, zebra walks, and virtual walks. The zebra is the NET cancer community’s mascot and international symbol. For this reason, many people wear a zebra awareness ribbon. To do your part, share this day on social media with #WorldNETCancerDay.
WORLD NET CANCER DAY HISTORY
In 2010, the World NET Community Steering Committee created a proclamation for the first Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day. The day would be held every year on November 10th. The event eventually became known as World NET Cancer Day. Currently, the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) coordinates the event.