Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company, is recognizing NET Cancer Day on November 10, 2021, with its fourth annual Hope is Like Air campaign to raise awareness of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). NET Cancer Day was founded by the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA). Along with INCA, AAA and NET patient organizations in the United States, Europe, and Canada are joining forces to shed light on this rare, often misdiagnosed form of cancer. On November 10 at AAA, we will show our stripes by sharing zebra-striped pinwheels to raise awareness of NET.
Zebra stripes are the symbol of NET, and are meant to signify the individuality of each patient and their disease. According to the National Geographic Society, the zebra has the most unique coat of all animals. Each individual zebra has its own striped pattern and no 2 are exactly alike. Similarly, no 2 NET cancer patients are the same. Zebra stripes are also meant to prompt medical professionals to consider the rare diagnoses of NET (a zebra) in addition to more common diseases (horses) when confronted with persistent symptoms (hoofbeats).
“NET is a rare cancer, often misdiagnosed, requiring a greater need for education,” said Rachel Levine, Global Head of Communications and Patient Advocacy at AAA. “The Hope is Like Air campaign aims to raise awareness while providing hope and support for patients and caregivers.”
If you would like to show your stripes with your very own zebra pinwheel, click here for the do-it-yourself (DIY) pinwheel so you too can support those living with NET on November 10! Share your pinwheel photos with others and spread awareness!
About Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroendocrine tumors, or NETs, are a rare type of cancer that originate in neuroendocrine cells throughout the body. They are most often found in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, or pancreas. NETs can be defined as functional or nonfunctional. Functional NETs are characterized by symptoms caused by the over-secretion of hormones and other substances, while nonfunctional NETs may be clinically silent.
Symptoms often appear once the tumor produces hormones or grows into surrounding tissues and organs. Nonspecific signs and symptoms of NET include, but are not limited to, abdominal pain, wheezing, diarrhea, fatigue, flushing, weight loss, and palpitations.
NETs tend to grow slowly and can have no symptoms or vague symptoms that can be mistaken for other conditions. As a result, NETs are often diagnosed at an advanced stage, meaning the cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body.