A Neuroendocrine Cancer diagnosis:  I didn’t even feel ill

A Neuroendocrine Cancer diagnosis: I didn’t even feel ill

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I talk often about my diagnosis but not about an 'incident' which occurred almost immediately prior to being formally told.I was well into the 'diagnostic phase', having had all sorts of tests including a liver biopsy.  I vividly remember thinking these tests were a 'nuisance', I was far too busy and I didn't even feel ill. In hindsight, I was fortunate to have had such a thorough bunch of physicians who diagnosed me with metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer in about 6 weeks 'flash to bang'.  I intentionally use a phrase associated with 'quick' because in the world of Neuroendocrine Cancer, 6 weeks is 'warp speed'.So, why was I admitted to hospital during the diagnostic phase?…
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Opinion: On Rare Disease Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

Opinion: On Rare Disease Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email On Rare Disease Day, what's wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?  Well, there are three main things wrong with Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness: 1. The incidence and prevalence of Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (the combination of Neuroendocrine Tumours (NET) and Neuroendocrine Carcinomas (NEC)) have skyrocketed in the last 40 years to the point that many scientists, epidemiologists and Neuroendocrine specialists are starting to use different terminology, commensurate with the math. Read more by clicking here or on the picture below.  Let's do the math not the myth. 2.  Linked to the issue above, the community remains entrenched in 1907 terminology which needs bringing into 2021. Things have moved on so much…
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Ronny Allan – Top 10 for 2020 – Neuroendocrine Cancer

Ronny Allan – Top 10 for 2020 – Neuroendocrine Cancer

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email 2020 was a different year due to the pandemic and it has spilled over into 2021 - this has had the effect of being slightly down on the 2019 figures.  I also changed tack on one of my pages adding a 'coping' theme rather than writing new blog posts.  This also had the effect of reducing blog hits for the year but very happy under the circumstances. Much of the effort in 2020 was directed in building up my private group, the fastest growing and biggest NET group on earth Of the approximately 336,000 views of my blog site in 2020, the top 10 articles account for almost 70,000.  They…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer – I didn’t hear it coming

Neuroendocrine Cancer – I didn’t hear it coming

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email The sooner any cancer can be correctly diagnosed, the better chances of a curative scenario for the person concerned.  However, some cancers are in the 'difficult to diagnose' category. Certain types of Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs) are in this difficult to diagnose category due to the vague symptoms which may be mistaken for other diseases and routine illnesses.  However, in many cases which don't seem to make the statistics, it can be incredibly quiet leading to incidental diagnosis including at an advanced stage. It's SNEAKY! Every year the advocacy organisations push out skewed statistics, but few take a wide enough view to get the full spectrum of patient experience.  I accept…
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Opinion: On World Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

Opinion: On World Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email On World Cancer Day, what's wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?  Well, there are three main things wrong with Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness:1.  The community remains entrenched in 1907 terminology which needs bringing into 2021. Things have moved on so much but the use of this ancient terminology and what it infers, just keeps us marking time in the last century. It does not do us any favours in awareness terms, nor does it do us any favours in clinical terms.  If clinicians, scientific organsiations (including pharma) and patient advocate organisations will not move on, we as patients and advocates need to pull them along with us.   We need…
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A 2020 blog review (RonnyAllan.NET)

A 2020 blog review (RonnyAllan.NET)

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Click picture to view the A to Z of Neuroendocrine Cancer by Ronny Allan I should be happy with just over a third of a million views in 2020 but I'm not!   I had a target to beat 370,500 from 2019 but fell short by 35,000 (an average month).  However, you can see from the chart below, I was on track in Jan/Feb but knocked sideways by the COVID pandemic in March to August. I never got back above 30k in one month (my average) until November. December is traditionally quieter.  Hopefully 2021 will be a better year.  Facebook is a prime outlet for my blog views (by a country…
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Thanks a MILLION …and then some!

Thanks a MILLION …and then some!

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email thanks all! I was totally astonished to have been able to accumulate a million views of my blog around the middle of June 2019 and now in December 2020, a Christmas present of one and a half million!  When I first set it up in Apr 2014, it was just to help spread awareness whilst I was walking the 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall with my wife Chris. I never thought for one minute I would reach 1.5 million hits and accumulating around 17,000 followers across all my social media sites. I'm now heading for 2 million and I often think I might have a screw loose by even thinking…
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Early diagnosis of late stage cancer!

Early diagnosis of late stage cancer!

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email OPINION: What a strange title for a cancer blog post!   However, what a strange cancer I have.  Let me explain - I was really confused in 2010 as to how I could suddenly become a stage 4 Neuroendocrine Cancer patient even though I didn't feel ill enough to see a doctor.  To cut a long story short, you can read about me here."The cancer has been growing for years"One of the common stories I hear from other patients is they were told their cancer had been growing for some years, up to 10/11/12 in most cases. I'm fairly certain my surgeon once said something similar.  Clearly doctors are 'guesstimating' so these…
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1.4 million thanks!

1.4 million thanks!

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Just registered the 1,400,000th view of my blog site.  So grateful for the support!Last 12 posts going back to 28th June - feel free to read and share.  Each one has a share button for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp and Email (as has the entire post).You can also catch up on other points of interest and some of my lockdown activities on my Facebook pages Ronny Allan and Neuroendocrine CancerMany thanksRonny
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10 years, I’m still here

10 years, I’m still here

Awareness, Inspiration
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I finally made 10 years since I was diagnosed on 26th July 2010.  A milestone I was not certain at the time I would reach.  However, as things progressed, as treatment was administered, as I got used to living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, I eventually became more confident this was a possibility.  I was fortunate that my cancer was not that aggressive although it was aggressive enough over an unknown period of time (probably years) to have grown inside my small intestine and mesentery, reached an army of lymph nodes and settled in my liver and beyond including, strangely, in my left armpit.  It was incurable.  And, unique to serotonin secreting…
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Don’t be cavalier with a cancer diagnosis

Don’t be cavalier with a cancer diagnosis

Awareness, Inspiration
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email  [caption id="attachment_19230" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Denial[/caption]I talk often about my diagnosis but not about an 'incident' which occurred almost immediately prior to being formally told.  In fact it happened on 24th July 2010, 10 years to the date this post was published.  (Spoiler alert - I'm still here).I was well into the 'diagnostic phase', having had all sorts of tests including a liver biopsy.  I vividly remember thinking these tests were a 'nuisance', I was far too busy and I didn't even feel ill.  In hindsight, I was fortunate to have had such a thorough bunch of physicians who diagnosed me with metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer in about 6 weeks 'flash to bang'.  I…
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My interview with ITM – I’m still here!

My interview with ITM – I’m still here!

Awareness, Clinical Trials, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I was delighted to be contacted by ITM AG, a Germany based pharmaceutical company specialising in targeted radionuclide technology in precision oncology (e.g. Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy - PRRT).  The company is formally known as  ITM Isotopen Technologien München.One of their pipeline developments is 177Lu-Edotreotide / Solucin® in patients with neuroendocrine tumors of gastroenteric or pancreatic origin (GEP-NET).  The development is via the COMPETE Phase III Clinical Trial which is being conducted worldwide in 11 countries at 33 sites and is open for recruitment.  I actually wrote about this trial after attending a workshop at the annual ENETS conference in 2018.I was delighted when they wanted to interview me to…
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RonnyAllan.NET – Newsletter 1st June 2020

RonnyAllan.NET – Newsletter 1st June 2020

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Newsletters have returned! I ceased publication of monthly newsletters over a year ago, mainly because they were time consuming to compile and the impact was less then my average post in terms of feedback. However, since going into COVID-19 lockdown, I've given that some more thought. Going forward, I'll be sending you out a newsletter each month including an email version as soon as I can get my mailing system software up and running (I've been busy during lockdown!) Coping with lockdown During April and May, I decided I wasn't going to hide away during lockdown despite the fact I see myself as someone at risk, not just because of…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer: The Perfect Storm

Neuroendocrine Cancer: The Perfect Storm

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email As featured by Neuroendocrine Cancer UK (formerly NET Patient Foundation) It's well known that Neuroendocrine Cancer can often be a difficult to diagnose condition. However, what is less well known is the impact it has on those who are diagnosed.  I'm one of the lucky ones, even though I still ended up with distant metastases.  It does feel odd to say that having distant metastasis is lucky! I consider my diagnosis to have been incidental as they were not investigating cancer - I suspect that's the route for many cancer patients. I also think I was lucky because I had instant access to Neuroendocrine Cancer specialists and got quick treatment,…
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Ronny Allan – Top 10 for 2019 – Neuroendocrine Cancer

Ronny Allan – Top 10 for 2019 – Neuroendocrine Cancer

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email sharing this could help someone 2019 has been quite a year and my blog views are the highest they have ever been.  They could have been even higher had I written more articles instead of resting on my laurels after reaching ONE MILLON total views in June of this year.  Will try harder in 2020! (edit - COVID changed those plans)Things are so hectic I might need to think about more resources for my website/blog going forward.  Much of the effort in 2019 has been directed in building up my private group, the fastest growing NET group on earth and based on current size and growth rate, it will soon…
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Olivia Williams – Neuroendocrine Cancer (VIPoma)

Olivia Williams – Neuroendocrine Cancer (VIPoma)

Awareness
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…
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“Please find something wrong with me”

“Please find something wrong with me”

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
I’m contacted almost daily by the ‘undiagnosed’ who suspect they have Neuroendocrine Cancer, often because they appear to be displaying the symptoms of one of the associated syndromes and my large internet footprint leads them to me. These are some of my most difficult questions. I’m always very wary of initially agreeing with their assumptions and logic, instead opting for straightforward detective work based on my knowledge of the different types of Neuroendocrine Cancer, knowledge of the best scans, the best tumour and hormone markers. And I always warn them that statistically, they are more likely to have a common condition than the less common Neuroendocrine Cancer. When I first chat with the ‘undiagnosed’, I find many of them are fairly knowledgeable about Neuroendocrine Cancer and other health conditions, again…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Awareness
Double Neuroendocrine Cancer is a complex and difficult disease to diagnose, many people struggle with symptoms for some time before they are formally diagnosed.  Some continue to struggle after diagnosis. There are many facets that can confound a physician - at diagnosis and beyond. Double Toil If it's not enough just to have tumours growing inside your body, this cancer can also be uncannily quiet delaying diagnosis.  At the same time, the tumours can still be 'functional' and over-secrete certain hormones to add or introduce symptoms which mimic many other diseases or conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Menopause, Heart disease and Asthma - also delaying diagnosis.   In addition to common symptoms of flushing and diarrhea, others include generally feeling weak, fatigued, pain, agitated, anxious, dizzy, nauseous, acid reflux,…
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The Case of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs Cancer

The Case of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs Cancer

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email UPDATE 18th SEPTEMBER 2020RIP Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgUPDATE 17 JULY 2020Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday that she had had a recurrence of cancer but had been undergoing chemotherapy that had shown “positive results”.  Justice Ginsburg, who is 87, said she had begun a course of chemotherapy on May 19, after a periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on her liver.  She also stated that "Immunotherapy" first essayed proved unsuccessful, but the chemotherapy course is yielding positive results. She said a scan this month showed the liver lesions had been significantly reduced and that she is tolerating chemotherapy well.  Justice Ginsburg did not say where the tumours…
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Cancer can kill but so can fake cures

Cancer can kill but so can fake cures

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email No matter where you look on social media, there are millions of sites claiming that 'this' and 'that' can cure cancer.  If you analyse some of the things that can apparently 'cure' cancer, you will normally find that behind these fantasies, there is someone selling something, a book, a video, a product.I was also interested to read a number of articles about various aspects of this modern phenomenon.  Firstly, in the magazine Wired, a major media company was forced to take down some cancer therapy videos after someone pointed out they were not scientifically factual.  Not just patients who get fooled by these claims then?Much of the misinformation arrives via…
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Neuroendocrine Neoplasms – High grade

Neuroendocrine Neoplasms – High grade

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email High Grade - the forgotten patient group?When reading articles in the mainstream media, found in medical publications; and even listening to doctors speak about my disease, it's clear that the focus is on the term "Neuroendocrine Tumours" or NET for short.  Many websites of advocate foundation organisations and specialist scientific organisations, all still use the term "NET" in their naming.  I too am guilty of having a large Facebook site falling into this category.  It's little wonder that those with high grade disease can often feel like the forgotten patient group.  Clearly all the aforementioned organisations support all patients regardless of grade, but it's true to say that the naming…
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Rosacea – the NET Effect

Rosacea – the NET Effect

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Around 2001, I started noticing some issues on my nose, particularly around the creases, an issue I still experience today. It normally starts with a stinging feeling, an indication I'm about to experience some sort of inflammation. What eventually happens is something which looks like a 'whitehead' which I now know to be a 'pustule'. Sometimes there are multiples, and most are not normally bigger than 2mm, mostly smaller. These pustules nearly always disappear within a short period of time, normally after washing/showering, but they tend to leave reddish marks which eventually fade. Very infrequently, these pustules would appear on my chin. My nose is slightly discoloured and more reddish…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer: No one gets it until they get it

Neuroendocrine Cancer: No one gets it until they get it

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Over the years of my advocating, I've tried to explain Neuroendocrine Cancer to many people outside the community.  Some 'get it' but many don't.  Most understand 'Cancer', they have real difficultly understanding 'Neuroendocrine'.  Despite how hard I try, I can see that some of them just don't get it!  I told someone I had a primary in the small intestine once, they said "oh you have bowel cancer then" - NO! One of the challenges of explaining Neuroendocrine Cancer is the sheer complexity and spectrum of types. It's a heterogeneous grouping of cancers ranging from some quite indolent versions through to very aggressive versions similar to many dangerous adenocarcinomas.  Unlike…
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From dying to living, to hell and back

From dying to living, to hell and back

Awareness, Inspiration, Patient Advocacy
I once wrote a post about patient stories, in particular the ones I receive in my private messages.  The headline was "The shock effect never wears off".  But none have been more shocking than the one I received early in 2019.  (edit: After posting this article, I heard of a few similar cases). This is a story about someone who is a private person but felt the need to reach out to me about their diagnostic experience. This person wanted to talk about it, but in private and I was happy to listen.  I was so moved by this story, I persuaded this person to let me tell it here whilst retaining their anonymity.  Hence referral going forward as 'Patient E'. I just felt that someone somewhere might learn something…
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Letter from America

Letter from America

Awareness, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer
I've always been one to keep an eye out for the postman (the postie as we say here). Even as a heavy user of computers, I still get excited about receiving 'paper' mail.  Other than birthday cards, I personally don't tend to see many handwritten letters nowadays. In today's internet connected world, handwritten letters are always exciting, always special. However, the one I received in the first week of February 2019 was extra special, it was postmarked from North Carolina USA. Now ….. for those around the same age as me, you might have been attracted by the article header and have remembered the famous radio show entitled "Letter from America".  This was a weekly fifteen minute speech radio series broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and across the world through…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer – is normally slow growing BUT …..

Neuroendocrine Cancer – is normally slow growing BUT …..

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Survivorship
I have a lot of be thankful for - I'm still here for starters! BUT ......… here's a list of 10 things I'm NOT thankful to Neuroendocrine Cancer for! Thanks for growing inside me for years before making your vague announcement Sorry too late, I'm metastatic and around 50% of patients will be at diagnosis (so I'm not alone!). It's very SNEAKY! No thanks for making a right mess inside my body! I mean, I look really good, I look really well, but you should see my INSIDES No thanks for generating fibrosis throughout my mesentery and retroperitoneum! I really didn’t know what to make of this issue at diagnosis, although I did know the aorta was pretty important!  Fortunately I had a surgeon who had operated on many NET…
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Pancreatic Cancer vs Neuroendocrine Tumours of Pancreatic Origin

Pancreatic Cancer vs Neuroendocrine Tumours of Pancreatic Origin

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I campaign hard for Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness including continually pointing out that a Neuroendocrine Cancer with a pancreatic primary is NOT Pancreatic Cancer as is often quoted in the press. The two main reasons I take up these campaigns are as follows: 1. They are totally different cancers despite an anatomical relationship.  Although they can share a similar presentation, they can have different signs, different treatments, and vastly different prognostic outcomes. Anyone looking for useful information on either needs to be very careful on interpretation, they could end up with very bad advice and in some situations, become more concerned than they should be. (particularly with the prognostics). See more…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer – Hormonal Syndromes

Neuroendocrine Cancer – Hormonal Syndromes

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email One of the key awareness messages for Neuroendocrine Cancer is the hormonal syndromes that can often accompany the diagnosis for many people.  As it's a difficult disease to diagnose, many people struggle with these syndromes for some time before formal diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Cancer.  Some continue to struggle after.The cancer can often be uncannily quiet, but the tumours can be 'functional' and over-secrete certain hormones to add or introduce symptoms which mimic many other diseases or conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Menopause, Heart disease and Asthma.   In addition to common symptoms of flushing and diarrhea, others include generally feeling weak, fatigued, pain, agitated, anxious, dizzy, nauseous, acid reflux,…
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Living with Cancer – Worrier or Warrior?

Living with Cancer – Worrier or Warrior?

Awareness, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
  If you only believe what you see on social media, you would probably classify cancer patients into two main groups, warriors or worriers.  I guess people have, or adopt, these traits from their cancer experience but I suspect many people are simply 'wired' that way.  I also believe there are many people who have a bit of both, perhaps slanting to mostly warrior or worrier, I mean who doesn't worry about a single thing?  However, the extent of worrying can often have a negative effect on quality of life. You're not going to stop worrying by simply reading this article but if you read no further, at least check out the lead graphic, it might help putting things into perspective. Warriors I used to do that for a living…
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Don’t worry, it’s benign!

Don’t worry, it’s benign!

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy
OPINION One of the most controversial aspects of Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs) is the ‘benign vs malignant’ question. It’s been widely debated, and it frequently patrols the various patient forums and other social media platforms. It raises emotions and it triggers many responses ….. at least from those willing to engage in the conversation. At best, this issue can cause confusion, at worst, it might contradict what new patients have been told by their physicians (….or not been told). This post will not cover Neuroendocrine Carcinoma which by definition is malignant. Any definition of the word 'tumour' will confirm it can either be benign or malignant. However, and while I'm sure there are benign NETs, the key statement to explain any slow growing or indolent NET is that they all have…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer is not a ‘type’ of another Cancer ….. PERIOD!

Neuroendocrine Cancer is not a ‘type’ of another Cancer ….. PERIOD!

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy
Now the dust has settled on the death and funeral of Neuroendocrine Cancer patient Aretha Franklin, the community needs to review the strategy for how we explain the nomenclature of Neuroendocrine Cancer to outsiders including the media, and including doctors. About 95% of the articles I read about Aretha Franklin stated she had Pancreatic Cancer. Only a few quoted her physician who clumsily said "Pancreatic Cancer of the Neuroendocrine Type". Her death certificate quoted "Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer". Despite this, the media outlet which published her death certificate still led the article with the headline "Pancreatic Cancer". Exactly the same thing happened with Steve Jobs and a few others. And that's only the ones we know about - how many other pe0ple are being labelled and documented with the wrong cancer…
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Aretha Franklin 1942-2018: Neuroendocrine Cancer

Aretha Franklin 1942-2018: Neuroendocrine Cancer

Awareness, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email On 16th Aug 2018, Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin passed at her home in Detroit. The statement said "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit. Clearly he meant Neuroendocrine Cancer with a pancreatic primary. However, in the fast moving social media world, this is what went out with the lazier writers and editors abbreviating it to just Pancreatic Cancer.  All of these incorrect posts will now be embedded in the bowels of the internet and used for years to…
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I wish I had another cancer

I wish I had another cancer

Awareness, Inspiration, Patient Advocacy
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I'm thankful to Pancreatic Cancer Action for featuring this article here.AN OPINION POSTI’ve seen the term ‘Cancer Olympics’ many times on my social media travels, it’s been used in several contexts. For example, my friend Dr Robin McGee uses it to describe her ordeal with late stage bowel cancer and judging by the cover of her book, the analogy is the hurdles she had to jump to get the right treatment (many of you will relate to that).Another example I see is the race to claim a cancer is somehow ‘worse’ than other cancers, i.e. ‘my cancer is far worse than yours’.  Ironically, although some cancers are almost certainly worse…
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“What are you doing this afternoon”

“What are you doing this afternoon”

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email https://youtu.be/n17KUCiFaqU?t=7 On 8th July 2010, I was sat in front of a secondary care consultant, his speciality was colorectal. I asked specifically for this consultant for two reasons, firstly, he carried out a colonoscopy some 20 months previously which turned out to be negative. Secondly, my GP had referred me to the iron deficiency anaemia clinic, and they wanted to do ….. a colonoscopy.  I changed that plan because this "non-issue" was dragging on; quite frankly I wanted it to be resolved quickly, and I wanted it to be resolved in my favour - after all, I wasn't actually ill! Rewind two months, I had an incidental set of blood…
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RIP Irrfan Khan

RIP Irrfan Khan

Awareness
BREAKING NEWS - Irrfan Khan died in Mumbai India 29 Apr 2020 after being admitted to hospital for a "colon infection".  More to follow when known. ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS...….. Irrfan Khan, Indian actor and producer, well-known for movies, Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man, was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer in 2018. What type of NET? Irrfan released information on 19 June 2018 indicating it was a high grade Neuroendocrine Cancer - although there is no detail of the 'differentiation' that would indicate a 'Neuroendocrine Tumour' (NET) or a 'Neuroendocrine Carcinoma' (NEC). There have been no confirmed reports about the primary location. Read his "Note from London" here Where is he being treated? Irrfan initially said he would be travelling "overseas" for treatment. Fox News (USA) said…
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Ronny Allan – Top 6 posts of 2017

Ronny Allan – Top 6 posts of 2017

Awareness, Inspiration
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email These are my top performing posts for 2017 - comprising one eighth of my entire hits for the year.  My blog hits for 2017 almost reached a quarter of a million, double that of 2016 which was double that of 2015.  A chunk of these figures can be attributed to most of these articles.  Please share to maintain the momentum. Top 6 posts for 2017 (Click on each article title to read) Short Description Hits in 2017 The Human Anatomy of Neuroendocrine Cancer Making the point that Neuroendocrine Cancer is not confined to a particular part of the body 9,906 Neuroendocrine Cancer Syndromes – Early Signs of a Late Diagnosis…
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Update:  Management of Neuroendocrine Tumors

Update: Management of Neuroendocrine Tumors

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Treatment
This is an excellent and positive video based overview of where we are with the Management of NETs.  This is a presentation from a NET Specialist (who some of you may know) presenting to a "GI Malignancies" conference.  This is therefore not only awareness of NETs, it's also some good education for non NET GI experts who may only know the very basics. Useful for patients too!  I met Dr Strosberg in Barcelona (ENETS 2017) and thanked him for his presentational and scientific paper output which I often use in my articles. The classification picture is good as it explains the different facets of NETs and how NETs are classified and categorised in a general way - not seen it done this way before.   Slightly out of date as…
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Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer – the 7 Year Itch

Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer – the 7 Year Itch

Awareness, Diet and Nutrition, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Treatment
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email I quite like the Facebook memory thing. This morning I got a reminder of a post I made from 7 years ago whilst I was in hospital recovering from my 9 Nov surgery.  It had taken 12 days for me to feel strong enough to venture onto social media with a simple message "I'm feeling perkier".  For those not familiar with English localisms, it just means lively, spirited, bright, sunny, cheerful, animated, upbeat, buoyant, bubbly, cheery, bouncy, genial, jaunty, chirpy, sprightly, vivacious, in fine fettle, full of beans, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  I guess I met some of these descriptors most of the time! I had gotten through the worst and…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer – normally slow but always sneaky

Neuroendocrine Cancer – normally slow but always sneaky

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Share to save a life There's a lot of scary diseases in this world but some of them are particularly spooky.  One such spooky disease is the lesser known type of cancer that infiltrated my body - Neuroendocrine Cancer (aka Neuroendocrine Tumors or NET for short).  Not only is it scary and spooky, but it's also cunning, devious, misleading, double-crossing, and it likes nothing better than to play tricks on you.  It can be Double, Double Toil and Trouble. It will grow in your body without you knowing.  It finds places to hide, mainly the small intestine, appendix, lungs, stomach, pancreas, rectum and a host of other places. It can…
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Round up of NANETS 2017 – Let’s talk about NETs #NANETS2017

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
NANETS (North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society) is one of the biggest NET conferences, bringing together NET Specialists from around the world to discuss state-of-the-art treatment modalities, new therapies, and ongoing controversies in the field of Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (Tumors and Carcinomas). This is fairly complex stuff but much of it will be familiar to many. I’ve filtered out several outputs from the conference which I think are both relevant and topical to patients. The list is below allowing you to easily peruse and read further via linkages if you need to read more.  Remember, some of these are extracts so do not contain all the details of the research or study – although some of the linkages will take you to in-depth information if that’s your bag. Where applicable, I’ve also linked…
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Opinion: Neuroendocrine Cancer – Can it be cured?

Opinion: Neuroendocrine Cancer – Can it be cured?

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email OPINION: "Cured" - In cancer, this word can evoke a number of emotions. Interestingly, not all these emotions will be as positive as you might think. If you want to spark a heated debate on a Neuroendocrine Cancer patient forum, just mention that you've been cured. I'm not taking any sides by using this statement, just stating what actually happens and the deeply held views that persist in community held groups. One important factor in some of this thinking is that many people still remember the days where most diagnoses were late and many followed years of misdiagnoses for other conditions. But the latest statistics (which are now quite old)…
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The shock effect never wears off

The shock effect never wears off

Awareness, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Survivorship, Treatment
Patient stories are key to any awareness campaign.  Nothing like a human being standing up and letting you know about their experience.  Many are positive examples of how they are overcoming their trials and tribulations, others tell stories of a struggle. They all have different styles, some are the 'kick ass' type stories, some are just thankful, some are reflective - all of them are perfectly acceptable. I normally like to place myself somewhere in the middle with phrases like "I'm still here", although I can veer left and right when the mood takes me! Because of my social media footprint, I get a lot of private messages from people across the globe. Many are from people who have no wish to go public and that's fine. Many are from…
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Genetics and Neuroendocrine Tumors

Genetics and Neuroendocrine Tumors

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Survivorship
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email   In my article 'Ever wonder what caused your NET', I concluded that currently, the only known scientifically explained causes for NETs were hereditary/genetic in nature.  This is mostly associated with those who have MEN syndromes (yes, they are a syndrome not a type of tumour) and a few other less common types of NET including Pheochomocytoma/Paraganglioma (Pheo/Para) and Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) (the familial version of MTC is often referred to as FMTC). However, please note this does not mean that all those diagnosed with pancreatic, parathyroid, pituarity, Pheo/Para and MTC tumours, will have any hereditary or genetic conditions, many will simply be sporadic tumors. In recent years, it has…
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Cancer Isn’t All About Me

Cancer Isn’t All About Me

Awareness, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
[caption id="attachment_11078" align="alignleft" width="150"] As featured by Cure Magazine[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4318" align="aligncenter" width="500"] It's about others too[/caption] Since my diagnosis of incurable and metastatic neuroendocrine cancer in 2010, it's really all been about me. I didn’t see the trauma coming, and my family has supported me throughout every single step. I really don’t want to be the focus of attention as that mantle was normally evenly distributed. However, there’s nothing like a cancer diagnosis to put you into the spotlight. Facing an uncertain future with regular scans, injections, treatment, pills, examinations and blood tests has made me the center of attention, whether I like it or not. The focus is on me because these things are necessary to keep me alive for as long as possible and also because I…
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The Dissection of Neuroendocrine Cancer

The Dissection of Neuroendocrine Cancer

Awareness
Almost every day I see something in my news feed about Neuroendocrine Cancer .... an article, a tweet, a blog post, a subscription, an alert of some kind.  Certain ones catch my eye and then something in the detail leads me to disappointment at the realisation I'd not be able to share the information because of a major flaw (amongst other alleged awareness topics).  A common flaw is the failure to recognise that Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (Carcinomas and Tumors) can be found in numerous SITES in the human anatomy.  The latest article I read about Steve Jobs was a good read until I noticed it was actually about Pancreatic Cancer and inferred that a pancreatic NET was a subtype of Pancreatic Cancer.  I spend a lot of time supporting Pancreatic Cancer because…
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The Invisible NET Patient Population 

The Invisible NET Patient Population 

Awareness
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email OPINIONI found some of the quotes from the recent NET SEER Database study (Dasari et al) very interesting.  The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program is a comprehensive source of population-based information initiated in 1973 that is updated annually. Although the study is US-based, it represents the largest study of Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) ever recorded and is therefore a good guide to what might be found beyond USA. In fact, other national declarations of incidence and prevalence of NENs seem to bear these statistics out, i.e incidence rates of 7-8/100,000 ...... almost 7 times the rate recorded in the 1970s. If you want to understand the…
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The trouble with the NET (Part 3) – Miracle Cures

The trouble with the NET (Part 3) – Miracle Cures

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
Since I started blogging, I've had to become quite savvy at forming headlines for my posts as the wording can be a factor in whether someone reads it or not. A post picture can also influence.  There's a third factor and that is credibility - I'd like to think I've worked hard to earn that level of trust in my 'product'. I use the NET to talk about NETs!  I'm a genuine guy with a genuine purpose and I don't want to sell you anything - my 'product' is free. However, the 'NET' can also provide 'misinformation'. Unfortunately 'misinformation' also includes 'alleged' cures for various ailments including cancer.  I think we've all been there, we check twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc and we find the ubiquitous miracle cures for every illness under…
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Diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer? – 10 questions to ask your doctor (and where to find a NET Specialist Worldwide)

Diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer? – 10 questions to ask your doctor (and where to find a NET Specialist Worldwide)

Awareness, Diet and Nutrition, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email On the day I was diagnosed, I hadn't really thought about questions, the only one I actually remember asking was "how long do I have left to live" (I watch too many movies!). On the day of diagnosis and a period beyond, people tend to feel emotions of shock, denial, anger and sadness, before going on to accept their situation. Yes, I 'googled' but not a great deal really - although some things I found did frighten me. I wish I had found this article way back then.As things progressed in the weeks after 'D-Day', I started to work out the sort of things to ask but even then it…
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Don’t believe the hype – Neuroendocrine Cancer Myths debunked

Don’t believe the hype – Neuroendocrine Cancer Myths debunked

Awareness, Diet and Nutrition, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email  OPINIONThere's a lot of inaccurate and out of date information out there. Some is just a lack of understanding, some caused by out of date websites, often as a result of patient forum myth spreading. Some can only be described as propaganda. Some of it even comes from doctors and NET advocate organisations. Myth 1: All Neuroendocrine Tumours are benignNot true. By any scientific definition, the word 'tumour' means 'an abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumours may be benign (not cancerous), or malignant (cancerous)'. Sure, some NETs will be benign but a tumours which spreads away…
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There’s no such thing as a ‘tickbox’ Neuroendocrine Cancer patient

There’s no such thing as a ‘tickbox’ Neuroendocrine Cancer patient

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Thousand of people are diagnosed with cancer every day.  Many types of cancer have big patient populations due to the prevalence of diagnoses. They are so common that billions have been ploughed into research and care services.  Doctors are used to seeing lots of these patients and they have tried and tested treatments and care protocols. Many will come out of their treatments and under surveillance for a period (normally 5 years) and then declared in remission. The problem with certain cancer symptoms is that they are not always clear cut.  For example, take symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, or fatigue - those can be caused by a whole host of things, many of which aren’t even cancer. It's difficult for any doctor to work out the cause of…
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