Additionally, some of my students are going to try to adapt the "Think Different" video below for NET Cancer Awareness Day (Nov. 10th).
While Steve Jobs decided to downplay his cancer diagnosis, the sad fact is that he had (and most likely died from) a pancreatic NET cancer... perhaps his determination to look at the world differently - as a world full of endless possibilities - will help encourage medical professionals to broaden their purview when faced with NET symptoms, especially since the average NET cancer patient waits 5-7 years before receiving the proper diagnosis.
The NET / Carcinoid community has been challenging the medical world to "think differently" about NET cancers for years. Below is an explanation from the Carcinoid Cancer Texas Survivors (CCTS) website about why zebra stripes are the chosen pin "color" for NET cancers.
Why the Zebra?
When medical students are going through their training they inevitably hear the phrase: "When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras."Basically this helps to illustrate the strategy of initially diagnosing the more usual diseases or problems when a patient presents with symptoms.
An all-too-common scenario for many patients with Carcinoid, however, is one where a proper diagnoses is not made for a period of time . . . very often those with Carcinoid Syndrome are diagnosed with IBS or Crohn's Disease or perhaps even allergies or heart disease, before finally the correct diagnoses is made.
Some of our expert physicians have been heard to state therefore that in the case of Carcinoid, the patients ARE the Zebras . . . the more unusual . . . and NOT the horses! One of our more colorful Carcinoid Expert Physicians is well known for telling Carcinoid patients not only are we the Zebras, but we have pink stripes with purple spots!
And so we proudly embrace our ZEBRA STRIPES!!
Think Different * NET Cancers