December 10, 2015

Kick Carcinoid Cancer in the Butt!

November 10 is Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Day ... the ribbon is the Zebra Stripe.

Why is the Zebra the mascot?

Doctors in medical school are taught that "when hearing hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras." Carcinoid Cancer and Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs) have been thought of as "rare" and, therefore, may be considered a Zebra.

My Diagnosis

I was recently diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer.  I have had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for 15 years...IBS is one of the symptoms of Carcinoid Cancer, but that doesn't mean I've had it that long.  I am in Stage 4.

"Carcinoid cancer patients are often misdiagnosed for 5 years.  Due to the delay in diagnosis, when they are correctly diagnosed, it has reached Stage 4."

How did I find out I have cancer? 

I was having pain in my breast and also where a hernia was removed years ago.  While testing these two areas, Carcinoid Cancer was detected in my liver.  Surgery, if possible is the preferred initial intervention.  Unfortunately, since I was so late in being diagnosed, and since there are so many tumors in my liver, my liver cannot be operated on.  I recently started Octreotide monthly shots.