Let’s talk about NETs: World NET Cancer Day (Guest blog)
NETs are an uncommon group of cancers that develop in the cells of the neuroendocrine system, accounting for approximately 2% of all cancers diagnosed. However, that 2% represents a patient community which is widely underserved. For those living with NETs, the story is often all too similar, with multiple consultations and several misdiagnoses meaning that on average, 58% are then diagnosed at a late stage of disease. Symptoms of NETs such as diarrhea, flushing and wheezing are non-specific, with physicians often diagnosing as more common conditions such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome or anxiety, leading patients through a maze of confusion and delays.
World NET Cancer Day, coordinated by the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA), marks an important milestone to raise the profile of this lesser-known form of cancer. As part of my role at Ipsen, and working with our talented teams worldwide, we are fully committed to raising awareness, increasing the number of diagnoses and improving treatments. This year we are supporting INCA to start global conversations amongst communities, medical professionals and healthcare authorities. The #LetsTalkAboutNETs campaign hopes to promote NETs to the list of suspected conditions aligned with these symptoms and equip patients with the information to have an informed discussion with their physician.
No one should have to wait years for the right diagnosis. I sincerely hope that through raising awareness of NETs alongside INCA, this circumstance becomes the exception, not the rule. At Ipsen, patients inspire us to target cancers with the highest unmet needs and we are dedicated to using our platforms to support the medical community – sharing these key awareness messages. On this World NET Cancer Day, we call out to the wider community to join us and join INCA, contributing to this global conversation and helping to combat the label of NETs as the ‘forgotten cancer’.