There’s a lot of scary diseases in this world and some of them are particularly spooky. One such 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, but it’s also cunning, devious, misleading, double-crossing, and it likes nothing better than to play tricks on you.
It will sneak into your body without you even knowing anything about it. It finds places to hide, mainly the small intestine, appendix, lungs, stomach, pancreas and a host of other places. It can be fiendishly small to avoid being seen. Once it’s established in the primary location, it will try to break out via your blood and lymphatic system. It wants to establish other bases in your mesentery, your liver, your lymph nodes, your bones and many other places. It can often be uncannily quiet, not showing any symptoms.
Sometimes it wants to have fun, so it will often over-secrete certain hormones to add or introduce symptoms which mimic many other diseases such as IBS, asthma, abdominal upset, diarrhea, flushing. These are just more tricks. You will go to your doctor, perhaps many times, to report what looks like routine/regular symptoms but it’s also really good at tricking your doctors. After several visits, your doctors could become so frustrated that nothing serious is obvious, they might even start to think it’s all in your head. This is exactly what Neuroendocrine Cancer wants because it actually hasn’t finished its tricking yet.
One particular type of NET has a wicked trick up its sleeve. This one will over-secrete a hormone called Serotonin which will cause fibrosis in your abdominal area, potentially causing obstructions and damage to major organs and blood vessels. It will also try to introduce fibrosis to the right side of your heart causing more life threatening issues. In addition to common symptoms of flushing, this type and others will also make you feel weak, fatigued, pain, agitated, anxious, dizzy, nauseous, jaundiced, acid reflux, skin irritation, anemic, lose weight and give you heart palpitations. Its main trick is to prevent you from being diagnosed.
It’s still not finished as it has a ‘finale’ trick. Neuroendocrine Cancer actually wants to kill you, and if it’s left to plough its relentless path throughout your body, that’s exactly what it will do.
It’s not just scary, it can also be deadly. Spread the word and help save a life.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of awareness now and it’s helping. But we need so much more.
Thanks for reading