SCAN data clearly showing that the correct diagnosis is significantly delayed for NET patients was presented in a webinar for the hospital of Antwerp on December 3 by Dirk van Genechten, Vice President of Vzw NET & MEN Kanker Belgium and member of the INCA Board of Directors.
In his address to the Belgium healthcare professionals, Dirk van Genechten put great emphasis on the fact that more knowledge about NETs is needed among healthcare professionals and announced that INCA is starting a new project dedicated to raising awareness among medical professionals, both family doctors and specialists. He highlighted that due to the increase in incidence of the disease worldwide together with its prevalence, neuroendocrine cancer is not qualified as rare any more. This is mostly driven by better treatments and improvements in the overall survival rate.
Dirk announced INCA’s plans for launching a project on raising the awareness of NETs among healthcare professionals, both family doctors (GPs) and specialists like gastroenterologists, oncologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, etc. A brief snapshot was given of the situation in Belgium, where NET patients have access to two NET medical Centers of Excellence, and most of the medical treatments are well accessible and affordable to NET patients. It was noted that there is still shortage of reliable and easily accessible information about NETs, tailor-made for the patient especially for the newly diagnosed, psychological support, qualified NET nurses, as well as HCPs signposting patients to patient advocacy organizations.
Convention/protocol for GPs provided by the specialists was one of the suggestions that popped up during the discussion.