Well known UK actress Olivia Williams has been diagnosed with a functioning pancreatic NET called a VIPoma. She played Bruce Willis’ wife in the blockbuster Sixth Sense in 1999. She is also known for her roles in TV dramas such as ITV’s The Halcyon and American science fiction thriller series Counterpart. And she was on the set in California when her biopsy result came though confirming the pNET. The doctors, who I believe were from Cedars Sinai even said “It’s not pancreatic cancer, it might be a neuroendocrine tumour”. She finally got surgery in Kings College London. Read the Vogue article here.
So glad she finally got it sorted after 4 years (great story inside). However, she is now an ambassador for Pancreatic Cancer – so once again we lose out due to a misunderstanding of the major differences between Pancreatic Cancer and Neuroendocrine Cancer with a Pancreatic primary.
The article states “Soon after my six-month all-clear, I was asked to be an ambassador for Pancreatic Cancer UK. I was happy to help but pointed out I wasn’t really famous enough to raise lots of money. They replied that I wasn’t being asked because I was famous. I was being asked because there are so few survivors”. Well that’s slightly misleading because they were clearly inferring ‘Pancreatic Cancer’. #aaghhh
Another frustrating thing about the 3 articles I read, they all refer to Pancreatic Cancer – UK Daily Mail ran a full section on the dangers of Pancreatic Cancer which his totally misleading to the actual cancer Olivia had and is therefore misguided advice. And as usual, Steve Jobs and Aretha Franklin get hooked in to the story inferring they too had Pancreatic Cancer. OK Neuroendocrine is mentioned in the article but the inference is that it’s a type of Pancreatic Cancer sending the wrong messages on symptoms, therapy and prognostics – read about the differences by clicking here.