Several high-profile cancers are infamous for being silent killers – but they are not the only cancers that catch victims by surprise. Carcinoid cancer can go undetected for many years. Over 90% of all carcinoid/neuroendocrine tumor (NET) patients are initially incorrectly diagnosed and treated for the wrong disease. Carcinoid cancers are frequently diagnosed accidentally.
Carcinoid and related neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) grow slowly and are found mostly in the gastrointestinal system, but can be in other body parts like the pancreas and lung. It usually takes many years before they cause symptoms. If the disease manifests in advanced stages, it can be deadly. Caught early, however, carcinoid cancer can often be managed or treated, an option not fully realized within the medical community or patient circles, according to Sharon Devereaux, the newly appointed president/CEO of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation(TM) (CCF, http://www.carcinoid.org). Increasing awareness of this disease and opportunities for early detection are an integral part of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation’s mission, and Devereaux’s initiatives include intensification of efforts to accomplish these goals.
“Carcinoid cancer occasionally creeps into the headlines, usually when some public figure is living with it or passes away,” Devereaux says. “But that’s where the news value ends because it’s perceived as rare – 110,000 U.S. patients are experiencing carcinoid cancer today. However, new research and anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s more widespread than is documented, yet it’s tough to provide treatment because established opportunities for early-diagnostic testing don’t exist.”
Richard R.P. Warner, MD, Medical Director of CCF and one of the world’s leading experts on these rare cancers, explains “that although a number of new drugs are being developed and tested, at present the only cure for carcinoid/NETs is dependent on early detection and surgery before these cancers have spread from their original site of origin.” The CCF is a non-profit organization that strives to encourage and support research, in addition to educating the general public and healthcare professionals, about carcinoid cancer and NETs. Recently, the CCF has drawn attention to its cause through its “Zebra Ball – Stars for Stripes” (http://www.thezebraball.com), an annual benefit event held at The Peninsula Chicago to support The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation(tm). This year’s ball, so named because zebra stripes symbolize “camouflaged” conditions, featured the stories of carcinoid cancer patient Don Meyer, Northern State University’s (Aberdeen, S.D.) basketball coach, and cancer survivor Kari Jones of Indianapolis. The gala coincided with Valentine’s Day, which has been designated by Mayor Richard Daley as Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Day in Chicago.
For more information or to donate, visit http://www.carcinoid.org or http://www.firstgiving.com/carcinoid.
About the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation(TM)
The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation(TM) is a non-profit organization chartered by the State of New York in 1968 for the purpose of encouraging and supporting research and education on carcinoid and related neuroendocrine cancers.