|Contact: Dawn Marie Peterson
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 P.M. CST, November 4, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, MN: If the 35W Bridge appears to be wearing stripes next weekend, it is. Sunday, November 10 is worldwide NET Cancer Day. NET cancers, caused from rare neuroendocrine tumors or NETS, are the “zebras” of the cancer world. When doctors are in medical school, they learn when diagnosing illnesses that they should be looking for “horses,” or common disease causes, rather than “zebras,” or rare causes. NETS are rare, occurring in approximately 35 in 100,000-cancer diagnosis annually. That is why NETS are zebras, their unique stripes being a symbol of the disease.
Although they tend to be slow growing, neuroendocrine tumors can turn into cancers including Carcinoid, MEN-1, Medullary carcinoma, Gastrinoma, Glucagonoma and many others arising from various organs including the lungs, pancreas, thyroid, stomach and intestinal tract. NETS frequently masquerade as other more common illnesses such as IBS, Crohn’s, Asthma and even other types of cancers. In 2011, Steve Jobs of Apple died from a pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer known as an Insulinoma.
Many doctors are unaware of NET cancers or understand how to treat them. Frequently, they have never treated another patient. As a result, NET cancer patients can go years, sometimes decades, before diagnosis. While NET cancers are not curable, with early detection and proper management, they are treated as a chronic condition. By bringing awareness to this rare cancer, we hope that both patients and medical professionals are able to “see stripes” earlier in the diagnosis process.
Formed in 1999, Northwoods NETS is a patient support and advocacy group for those living with neuroendocrine tumor cancers including Carcinoid, Islet Cell, and MEN-1. While based in the Twin Cities, Northwoods NETS provides support, information, and awareness for patients and caregivers all over Minnesota, North and South Dakota and western Wisconsin.