Bay Post-Moruya Examiner

Shining a spotlight on hope: NET Cancer Day 2023

Each year, approximately 5,550+ Australians are diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs), greater than both brain or ovarian cancer. Picture Shutterstock
Each year, approximately 5,550+ Australians are diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs), greater than both brain or ovarian cancer. Picture Shutterstock

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On November 10th, the world unites to observe NET Cancer Day; a beacon of hope for those affected by neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). The day observes NETs for what they are - a less common yet often misdiagnosed form of cancer that affects the lives of over 25,550 Australians and their families.

NeuroEndocrine Cancer Australia (NECA) proudly leads the way forward in Australia, ready to shed light on a disease that is often left in the shadows of more common cancers. As the country's leading organisation dedicated to supporting NET patients, NECA understands the profound importance of the day's mission of:

  1. Raising awareness for neuroendocrine cancer
  2. Fostering understanding of NETs and its impact
  3. Promoting screening and early detection
  4. Advocating for timely and effective treatments

Raising awareness of NETs

Neuroendocrine tumours, a less common form of cancer, can develop in various parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and pancreas. One of the greatest challenges faced by NET patients is the tendency of these tumours to mimic other common health issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), menopause or asthma, often leading to misdiagnosis. Sadly for many by the time a correct diagnosis is obtained the cancer has spread to other organs.

NET Cancer Day exists to raise awareness and provide hope to those affected. It is a day of unity, advocacy, and education, where patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and cancer charities worldwide come together. It's a day to share not only their stories, but share in the hope of better outcomes for all NET patients and their loved ones, today and into the future.

The local impact of NETs in Australia

In Australia, NET Cancer Day holds particular significance. Local statistics underline the gravity of NETs in the region, and they demand our attention:

Incidence: Each year, approximately 5,550+ Australians are diagnosed with NETs. While this number may appear modest compared to more prevalent cancer types, that number grows every year and is greater than both brain, or ovarian cancer.

Misdiagnosis: Many NET patients experience misdiagnosis before receiving the correct assessment. On average, it takes around five years from the onset of symptoms to obtain a correct NET diagnosis, highlighting the urgent need for better education and awareness among healthcare professionals.

Survival Rates: NETs often offer a more favourable prognosis compared to some other forms of cancer - but only if they are caught early. Timely and correct diagnoses, and access to appropriate treatments significantly influence survival rates. Early detection and appropriate management can improve outcomes for all patients.

How you can make an impact

The significance of NET Cancer Day goes far beyond just awareness; it extends to action, support, and hope. Here are the three most effective ways you can help improve the lives of the 25,550+ Australians currently living with NETs:

1. Raise awareness: Share information about NETs and NET Cancer Day with your network. Knowledge is the first step towards early detection and improved outcomes.

2. Support research: Your generous donations to organisations like NeuroEndocrine Cancer Australia can help fund crucial research that advances the diagnosis and treatment of NETs.

3. Advocate for change: Join us in advocating for improved healthcare policies and increased funding for screening and prevention. With a united voice, we can drive change.

Making an impact is about flicking the switch. It's about our dedication to shedding light on a less common and deadly disease that often goes unnoticed. Our efforts, no matter how modest, form a vital connection in the journey between despair and hope for NET patients and their families.

The NECA Mission

As a leading organisation in Australia, NeuroEndocrine Cancer Australia's mission is dedicated to making a tangible difference to the lives of NET patients and their families. We provide essential resources, unwavering support, and a strong voice for advocacy.

Our mission closely aligns with the goals of NET Cancer Day, which is to raise awareness, foster understanding, promote early detection, and advocate for timely and effective treatments.

On NET Cancer Day 2023, let us collectively shine a spotlight on hope and ensure that no one faces the challenges of NETs alone. Together, we can make a brighter future for all Australians and individuals worldwide who are affected by NETs.