RonnyAllan.NET – Summary of November 2022

RonnyAllan.NET – Summary of November 2022

Awareness, Newsletters, Patient Advocacy
In November 2022, I was very active on my blog site as it was World Neuroendocrine Cancer Day on 10th Nov (although every day is the same for me!).   The death of Wilko Johnson was unexpected, I tough he would be strumming his guitar for a bit longer.  That was the top post by some margin.   The 2nd top was surprisingly popular - empathy from an oncology nurse diagnosed with cancer.  Only one old favourite made it into the top 5. Here are the 5 most read posts in November 2022.  Click on the blue heading or the picture to read. My tribute to Wilko Johnson #NeuroendocrineCancer – Rock and Roll Wilko! - Ronny Allan - Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m…
Read More
The Inspirational Wilko Johnson:  12 July 1947 – 21 November 2022

The Inspirational Wilko Johnson: 12 July 1947 – 21 November 2022

Awareness, Inspiration
Wilko playing at his last show. Oct 2022 in London. Aged 75. RIP Wilko Johnson - Neuroendocrine Cancer I have been following Wilko's cancer story since December 2015 (and what a story it is) Read more by clicking here. [caption id="attachment_14806" align="aligncenter" width="785"] Wilko Johnson performing at The Royal Albert Hall, London on 26th September 2017[/caption] Charlie Chan (left) convinced Wilko to get his diagnosis checked, Emmanuel Huguet (right) removed his huge tumour in Cambridge. Two videos below.  Wilko is mainly a guitar player but he also wrote songs and sings too. Video 1 is 2006 when he was part of Dr Feelgood.  Boom Boom. Video 2 was made with Roger Dawltry (The Who) for the Going back Home tour.  Was supposed to be Wilko's swan song.  He opted for…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NEN) – genetic related syndromes

Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NEN) – genetic related syndromes

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Definitions - the differences between Hereditary vs Familial vs Genetic DisordersI wanted to start with these definitions because people may unintentionally use these three terms interchangeably which is sometimes not the correct use of the information being conveyed. However, after studying this subject, I can tell you it is a very complex area and difficult to explain and then understand in a single paragraph.  Even these widely accepted definitions don't make it any more understandable!  The terms ‘hereditary’ and ‘familial’ look like synonyms and are frequently used interchangeably but are two different concepts. ‘Hereditary’ is most commonly used when referring to diseases with a known genetic cause whereas ’Familial’ disorders are those which appear to have a genetic component, affecting more family members than would be expected by chance alone. However,…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer:  Those who know, know!

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Those who know, know!

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
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', but they have real difficulty 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 to very aggressive versions similar to many dangerous adenocarcinomas.  Unlike many of the more understood cancers, Neuroendocrine Cancer can literally appear anywhere in the body, adding to an already complex…
Read More
Ask More, Assume Less

Ask More, Assume Less

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
This is a great catchphrase from Neuroendocrine Cancer UK. It is partly based on the realisation that Neuroendocrine Cancer is no longer rare.  OK, that has been the case for some years but the recent data from NHS England cements this patently obvious truth. In England, it is now the 10th most prevalent cancer with a continually rising incidence – that has already seen 371% increase since 1995.  Neuroendocrine Cancer UK is possibly the most progressive organisation within the INCA national collective, although I am seeing glimmers of change in some others.  Unfortunately, many North American organizations/advocates appear to be going backward on this issue which I find bizarre. Certain European countries are also lagging. The phrase "Ask More and "Assume Less" is a great punchline and fits many of the…
Read More
Piss off Cancer, it’s been 12 years since my “big surgery”

Piss off Cancer, it’s been 12 years since my “big surgery”

Awareness, Inspiration
I'm still here I was 54 years and 9 months old at diagnosis on 26th July 2010.  For the first few months, I had no idea what the outcome would be.  What I did know at the time, given the final staging, grading, and other damage that was accumulated via various tests, checks, and scans; is that my body had been slowly dying. Without intervention I may not be here now to tell you this tale and who knows what would be listed on my death certificate.  It’s amazing to think something that would eventually kill me without intervention, didn’t have a much grander announcement than the one presented to me in 2010 (or had I been paying more attention, in 2008 or 2009). I will never know if a much…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer:  Beware But Be Aware

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Beware But Be Aware

Awareness
An awareness post from Ronny Allan BEWARE There are a lot of scary diseases in this world.  Take the lesser-known type of cancer that infiltrated my body for example - Neuroendocrine Cancer.  Not only is it scary but it's also cunning, devious, misleading, and double-crossing. It likes nothing better than to play tricks on you. 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 be fiendishly small to avoid being seen.  Once it's established in the primary location (....or locations), it will try to break out via your blood and lymphatic systems.  It wants to establish other bases in your mesentery, your liver, your lymph nodes, your bones,…
Read More
RonnyAllan.NET – Summary of October 2022

RonnyAllan.NET – Summary of October 2022

Awareness, Newsletters, Patient Advocacy
In October 2022, it was nice to see some of the newer blog posts featuring rather than the old favourites.  That guy Steve Jobs is there but only because I posted about the anniversary of his death on October 5th.Here are the 5 most read posts in October 2022.Evidence of disease but stableEvidence of disease but stable. People get fixated on these terms, or not even be aware of what they actually mean.... but the aim of this blog post was to say that even with Evidence of Disease (ED) you can still be stable.Click here or on the picture to read more:[caption id="attachment_36751" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Click on the picture to read more[/caption]Steve Jobs – the most famous Neuroendocrine Cancer Ambassador we NEVER hadSteve Jobs – the most famous Neuroendocrine…
Read More
How are you, Doctor?

How are you, Doctor?

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
When I was a kid growing up in the 50s/60s, I have vague recollections of seeing doctors from time to time. It always felt like the doctor was a highly respected person who knew everything and was someone to whom it was safe to divulge your most intimate secrets! I think for me, that perception continued throughout my time in the military and beyond.  I suspect as you mature in age, you become more relaxed about seeing a doctor and you begin to realise they are human beings just like you.  That said, the relationship is normally always a professional one, even today.  Throughout your life, many people greet you in the street or on the phone often with the words "How are you?".  You will probably say "fine" or "good…
Read More
The Hidden Pheochromocytoma

The Hidden Pheochromocytoma

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
I've written a few times about Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas, allegedly rare types of Neuroendocrine Tumour (NET).  I've also written about various hidden diagnoses of NET cases where they are eventually found in living patients having been 'hidden' within other diseases, i.e. misclassified in cancer registries or even not classified as cancer at all.  If you read any medical site (including hospitals which treat Pheochromocytoma) you will note statements along the lines of "mostly benign" - so it's possible the incidence rate is vastly understated on this factor alone.The other interesting data I found is that many are not discovered until autopsy.  Perhaps some people were asymptomatic or maybe they just stoically put up with their symptoms. Perhaps their symptoms were put down to routine illness such as hypertension, maybe imaging…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer:  Glossary of Terms

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Glossary of Terms

Awareness, Clinical Trials, Diet and Nutrition, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
Welcome to my Neuroendocrine Cancer terms and definitions list providing a source of meanings for acronyms and medical terms, all sourced from top Neuroendocrine Cancer and general cancer sites. How to use this list:1. If your term begins with an A, click on A to find all terms beginning with A.  Select your term from the list.2. For numerical terms, please click on the hashtag (#) symbol in the A to Z strip.3. The term definition including acronym or abbreviation will be given in full along with any of my published articles containing that term as long as I have tagged it on my website to display in the list. Please note I'm constantly working on the repository to clean up all definitions, adding and removing links where necessary, and ensuring all definitions…
Read More
Opinion: On Rare Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

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

Awareness
On Rare 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 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 but the use of this ancient terminology and what it infers just keeps us marking time in the last century.…
Read More
Awareness Post – Neuroendocrine Cancer in children and adolescents

Awareness Post – Neuroendocrine Cancer in children and adolescents

Awareness, Inspiration
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!  The newspapers and social media will no doubt be featuring many children's cancer articles. I personally cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to be a parent who has a child with cancer. I would just hope my child would be placed into the care and safe custody of experienced medical teams and would be able to get access to the best treatments available. In 2020. this case came up in my google alerts and was related to a family who live not far from me in the south of England.  An 8-year-old with Paraganglioma had lost an eye due to the location of the tumour.  It is absolutely heartbreaking to read but it's amazing how resilient children can be.  The Facebook…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer: At least 50 shades of grey

Neuroendocrine Cancer: At least 50 shades of grey

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
If you read any authoritative source on this cancer, it will normally begin with "Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) are heterogeneous tumours .............".  The term heterogeneous means diverse in character or content; or a structure with dissimilar components or elements.  This is not surprising as these tumours are found in Neuroendocrine cells throughout the vast majority of the human anatomy. And yet, when you look at many hospital/healthcare sites, advocate organisation sites, and cancer information sources not maintained by Neuroendocrine Cancer scientists or specialists, you might start to think there is just one big type of NET and only one syndrome. Once again, this is partly related to the lingering use of the term Carcinoid. Even within the community, so many people make blanket statements about Neuroendocrine Cancer which are misleading, e.g."they're all…
Read More
12 years – I’m still here!

12 years – I’m still here!

Awareness, Inspiration, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
I finally made 12 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, and as I got used to living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, I eventually became more confident this was a possibility with the help of Chris my wife of 47 years. 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 Neuroendocrine Tumours, it had caused a dense fibrotic reaction…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer: diagnostic dilemmas in July 2010

Neuroendocrine Cancer: diagnostic dilemmas in July 2010

Awareness
Every July, I think back to my diagnosis of advanced Neuroendocrine Cancer in 2010.   I guess one of the reasons I do this is to be thankful that I'm still alive but also, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm still trying to remember small detail from that period.  It had felt surreal ever since 8th July when the secondary care investigating doctor sent me for a CT scan leading to a biopsy on 19th July. That scan was to uncover some shocking detail of what had been going on inside my body, with no grand announcement, just something chipping away over the years.  My diagnostic triggers were incidental in many ways and a reaction to me telling a GP Nurse that I thought I'd lost a bit of weight.  I…
Read More
My illness may be invisible, but I am not – Neuroendocrine Cancer

My illness may be invisible, but I am not – Neuroendocrine Cancer

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Survivorship
The term invisible illness refers to any medical condition that is not outwardly visible to others, even healthcare professionals. Invisible illnesses encompass a broad range of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, psychiatric illness, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer. Many Neuroendocrine Cancer patients look outwardly healthy, and this can often lead to a lack of appreciation of the potential dangers lurking in their life, the person's actual capabilities, and how they cope with their condition. I am sure those reading who have a Neuroendocrine Cancer diagnosis will find something similar to their own experiences. Growing invisibly inside me for years before making a vague announcement I had no idea the cancer was growing in me for years. Perhaps some of my routine illnesses weren't as routine as I thought.  Sorry…
Read More
A Spotlight on Lung Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

A Spotlight on Lung Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

Awareness
WHO Classification of Tumours, 5th Edition, Volume 5: Thoracic TumoursThe aim of this spotlight is to provide a summary of the latest information on Lung Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NEN) including the latest terminology, epidemiology data, and guidelines.   This follows the publication of the Thoracic WHO classification 5th edition (2021): terminology and criteria for neuroendocrine neoplasms (Blue Book).  This book has been anticipated to see if the panel compiling this follows the lead of the Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (GEPNEN) editions issued in 2017 (Endocrine) and 2019 (Digestive systems) by removing the antiquated misnomer term ''Carcinoid" in line with the recommendations made by senior NEN doctors in 2020 to have commonality across all blue books. Neuroendocrine neoplasm update: toward universal nomenclature © 2020 Society for Endocrinology 2020, Guido Rindi and Frediano Inzani.I can tell…
Read More
Blog review and top 10 for 2021:  RonnyAllan.NET

Blog review and top 10 for 2021: RonnyAllan.NET

Awareness, Clinical Trials, Diet and Nutrition, General, Humour, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
I should be happy with over a quarter of a million views in 2021 but I'm not!  Like 2020, my figures are down on previous years as the pandemic seems to have changed viewing habits, not to mention my own bandwidth during this period. I created my private Facebook group not that long before the pandemic started, and I think that has been playing a part as huge chunks of my time has been taken up on that special project.  I also changed the nature and the type of posts on my "Ronny Allan" Facebook page, which led to fewer outlets for my blog posts.  Hopefully, 2022 will be a better year. However, just as I was totally astonished to have been able to accumulate a million views of my…
Read More
Opinion: On World Neuroendocrine Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

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

Awareness
On World Neuroendocrine 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 to be brought into 2022. 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 to do all we can to remove the term "Carcinoid" from our vocabulary ...... and theirs.  Read…
Read More
In the land of small tumours, there is still a lot of work to do!

In the land of small tumours, there is still a lot of work to do!

Awareness, Clinical Trials, Patient Advocacy, Treatment
I like reading the words of Dr Mark Lewis, an Oncologist and a Neuroendocrine Tumour (NET) patient himself (with MEN1).  He always delivers with "enthusiastic vigour", a term he reduces to "brio" (which I had to google!)His article as usual sets a scene and he has form for looking back in the history of NETs. I'm sure he does this as it can often illustrate just how much clinical progress has been made since way back then. And that is the purpose of the recent article entitled "Continuing the Odyssey in the Land of Small Tumors".  He quotes from a 1987 article written by Dr Charles Moertel entitled "An Odyssey in the Land of Small Tumors" and I suspect he selected this article from Dr Moertel as he too writes…
Read More
Let’s Talk About NETs (#LetsTalkAboutNETs)

Let’s Talk About NETs (#LetsTalkAboutNETs)

Awareness, Diet and Nutrition, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
Caption: Talking to Ipsen 2016 I do a lot of writing about NETs but I guess I've also done some talking too.  Some of these talks to patient groups and healthcare professionals were recorded and I have access to those recordings.  Others were not recorded but where possible and I am authorised to do so, I will attach the presentation slides.  Please note videos, presentation slides, and any Podcasts are in English. I'll list some of them below for your perusal.  I will keep adding them so they're all in one place.  Published talks Ann Edgar Trust - 31st August 2022 I was invited by Gordon Mackay who runs patient meetings for the Scottish NET organisation known as the Ann Edgar Trust.  As usual, I was only too happy to help. …
Read More
11 years – I’m still here!

11 years – I’m still here!

Awareness, Inspiration, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
I finally made 11 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, and 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 Neuroendocrine Tumours, it had caused a dense fibrotic reaction in the general area of the mesentery and in the…
Read More
Every picture tells a story (point, click, read)

Every picture tells a story (point, click, read)

Awareness, Clinical Trials, Diet and Nutrition, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Newsletters, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
I always try to use graphics for a number of pictures, I admit mainly to catch people's attention but also because sometimes a picture on its own tells a story or at least provides a great introduction to one. If the picture catches your eye, clicking on will take you to the text.  This post will auto update as new blogs are published. thanks for reading and sharing! Scroll, point, click, read, share! Click here and answer all questions to join my private Facebook group Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email Thanks for reading. Ronny I’m also active on Facebook. Like my page for even more news. Help me build up my new site here –…
Read More
A Neuroendocrine Cancer diagnosis:  I didn’t even feel ill

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

Awareness
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? Because I was stupid.  In fact I was double-stupid. Firstly, despite having had to undergo a liver biopsy…
Read More
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
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 but the use of this ancient terminology and what it infers just keeps us marking time in the last century. It does…
Read More
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…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer – I didn’t hear it coming

Neuroendocrine Cancer – I didn’t hear it coming

Awareness
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 that in some cases, it can be a little bit noisy via oversecretion of hormones causing hormonal syndromes, and this…
Read More
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
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 to do all we can to remove the term "Carcinoid" from our vocabulary.   Read more on this issue by clicking…
Read More
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…
Read More
2 Million!

2 Million!

Awareness, General, Humour, Inspiration, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
Today, 27th October 2022, I can confirm the 2 million views milestone has been reached. I was totally astonished to have been able to accumulate a million views of my blog around the middle of June 2019 and in December 2020, a Christmas present of one and a half million!  Fast forward to November 2021 and it's one and three-quarters million.That is THANKS to you guys for reading and sharing. When I first set up this blog in Apr 2014, it was just to help spread awareness (and collect a few pennies) whilst I was walking the 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall with my wife Chris. I never thought for one minute I would reach a thousand hits let alone 2 million: whilst accumulating around 20,000 followers across all my social media…
Read More
Piss off cancer – I’m 67

Piss off cancer – I’m 67

Awareness, Inspiration
I started doing the “Piss off cancer” series when I got to 65, mainly because I initially thought I wouldn’t make that age. I was 54 years and 9 months old at diagnosis on 26th July 2010.  For the first few months, I had no idea what the outcome would be.  What I did know at the time, given the final staging, grading, and other damage that was accumulated via various tests, checks, and scans; is that my body had been slowly dying. Without intervention I may not be here now to tell you this tale and who knows what would be listed on my death certificate.  It's amazing to think something that would eventually kill me without intervention, didn't have a much grander announcement than the one presented to…
Read More
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…
Read More
Paul Hunter Tribute – Snooker champion and Neuroendocrine Cancer patient

Paul Hunter Tribute – Snooker champion and Neuroendocrine Cancer patient

Awareness, Inspiration
Paul Hunter, three-time Masters snooker champion was just 27 when he fell victim to Neuroendocrine Cancer at the peak of his powers and popularity. At just 25, he'd won the third Masters title, a feat which, at the time, had been achieved by only two other players in the world. He was dubbed the "Beckham of the Baize" because of his chiselled good looks and long, blond hair (a reference to famous footballer David Beckham).This young age is unlike the majority of Neuroendocrine Cancer patients who are diagnosed in their later years. I took to the internet to find out more. Although there are many sites and articles confirming the link to "Neuroendocrine Tumours" in the annals of the internet, many sites state "stomach cancer" (some as late as 2017)…
Read More
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
Read More
10 years, I’m still here

10 years, I’m still here

Awareness, Inspiration
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 Neuroendocrine Tumours, it had caused a dense fibrotic reaction in the general area of the mesentery and in the retroperitoneal…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer: The Perfect Storm

Neuroendocrine Cancer: The Perfect Storm

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship
As featured by Neuroendocrine Cancer UK (formerly NET Patient Foundation)It's well known that Neuroendocrine Cancer can often be 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, and my follow up and support from a specialist centre were in place. I cope, but I wouldn’t say it’s easy living with…
Read More
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…
Read More
Olivia Williams – Neuroendocrine Cancer (VIPoma)

Olivia Williams – Neuroendocrine Cancer (VIPoma)

Awareness
UPDATE 13TH NOVEMBER 2022 - WORLD NEUROENDOCRINE CANCER DAY MESSAGE FROM OLIVIAFor those that don't know, Olivia has a part in the new series of "The Crown" commencing November 2022 on Netflix.  She took the opportunity during an interview on US television to mention World Neuroendocrine Cancer Day (the name of one my my Facebook pages).Watch that here.  Fast forward to minute 4:20 and she emphasises the point that it was also the cancer Steve Jobs and Aretha had)https://youtu.be/BskIspQVy0w?t=261Please note this is not a recommendation to watch this fictional series or take out a Netflix subscription. 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…
Read More
“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…
Read More
Neuroendocrine Cancer: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Awareness
DoubleNeuroendocrine 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 ToilIf 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, skin irritation, anaemic,…
Read More
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…
Read More
The trouble with the NET (Part 4) – Cancer can kill but so can fake cures

The trouble with the NET (Part 4) – Cancer can kill but so can fake cures

Awareness, Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Patient Advocacy
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 Facebook, and YouTube, two of the most commonly used social media tools. This article suggests a shockingly large majority of…
Read More
The Heterogeneity of Grade 3 (High grade) Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

The Heterogeneity of Grade 3 (High grade) Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
Reviewed and updated 14th March 2022High 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 and general use of terminology continues to fall behind. It's also true that the term…
Read More
Rosacea – the NET Effect

Rosacea – the NET Effect

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
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 than the rest of my face since the issue started.  Shortly after I started experiencing this issue, a doctor diagnosed me…
Read More
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
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', but they have real difficulty 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 to very aggressive versions similar to many dangerous adenocarcinomas.  Unlike many of the more understood cancers, Neuroendocrine Cancer can literally appear anywhere in the body, adding to an already complex description. …
Read More
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…
Read More
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 the…
Read More