Sunday, November 10 is World NET Cancer Day, an annual event created by the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) that aims to raise awareness of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) around the world.
On this day thousands of NET patients, NET communities, fundraisers and NET medical specialists from around the globe will come together on social media using the hashtag #letstalkaboutnets, to help raise awareness around this often-misdiagnosed and forgotten cancer and to push for greater access to care and treatment for all patients.
Newly obtained preliminary results from SCAN, a global survey conducted by INCA, has revealed that 44% of NET patients from around the world are initially misdiagnosed. Sadly, due to the late diagnosis, disease has spread to other parts of the body in 53% of patients.
INCA President, Simone Leyden, says, “The preliminary results emerging from the global INCA SCAN survey help to provide supporting evidence around the key challenges with access to optimal diagnostics and care that NET patients are facing on a global scale.”
Executive Director of INCA, Teodora Kolarova continues, “The high level of misdiagnoses reported in these preliminary results really highlights the lack of NET awareness amongst medical communities. NET patients need greater access to support, greater access to earlier diagnosis and greater access to symptoms awareness – NET Cancer Day aims to raise this awareness”
Affecting 7 in every 100,000 people around the world, NETs are defined as a less common cancer, with incidence similar to that of brain tumors, thyroid cancers, liver cancers, pancreatic cancers and kidney cancer, yet awareness amongst the medical community and general public is still relatively low.
INCA SCAN global survey interim data shows 68% of patients don’t have access to patient support groups, 94% don’t receive any palliative care, and just 11% get help from a consultant for their psychological needs.
As awareness is key to changing these statistics, on November 10 INCA will be asking their global community to speak up and share their stories on access challenges.