Monday, November 12, 2012

Ascot Racecourse : NET CANCER DAY

Heading off early we made our way to the Net Cancer Day at Ascot Race Course. The event was for patients and their family who our suffering from Neuroendocrine Cancer.
As many of you know Simon has Neuroendoctine Cancer, Simon`s tumour started in his pancreas. The tumour was removed in February 2011 along with other bits of his anatomy. The hope was that all the Tumour was removed. Unfortunately during the routine scans that we have attended multiple small tumours have been found upon Simon`s liver. There was quite a few people at the event this day. 
We were given a quite a bit of information on the cancer to give to our local GP`s surgery`s. We then got to sit at the tables our`s was near the front The Welsh Table.
Today 3 speakers were to speak, there was a dietitian, a specialist nurse and a surgeon. All three of the speakers were excellent. We learnt so much in the few hours at Ascot. 
We learned of the treatments available including the new ones. We learned of many possible ways in which Simon`s cancer will be managed in the future. Hopefully the future treatment will be a long way down the line. 
During Net Cancer Day we learnt a lot about diet what food would help and which would not. How the Cancer can effect the body with the mass amount of hormones it can produce. Why the different test are performed. 
We also heard form a surgeon Neil Pearce, he was a real character who we all enjoyed listening to. He went through the gruesome pictures of the many operations he had performed in graphic detail including real photograph `s. At the end of the conference we managed to have a good chat with Mr Pearce, we were also given his email address if we need help in the future.
The event was very successful. It was great to meet others in the same position as Simon how they cope with living with Cancer. 


What is cancer?

The body is made up of millions of different types of cells. Cancer happens when some of the cells multiply in an abnormal way. When cancer affects organs and solid tissues, it causes a growth called a tumour to form. Cancer can occur in any part of the body where the cells multiply abnormally.


Common examples of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

In the lungs: NETs in the lung represent a large proportion of all NETs. An example is a bronchial carcinoid.
In the digestive tract: commonly known as carcinoid tumours, these can be found in the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, appendix or bowel. Most produce abnormally large amounts of hormones.
In the pancreas: the different types of pancreatic NETs are named according to the hormone they produce. For example, insulinomas produce too much insulin and gastrinomas produce too much gastrin (a hormone that stimulates stomach acid secretion). These tumours cause symptoms.
There are also pancreatic NETs that produce hormones but are 'non-functioning', so they do not cause noticeable symptoms.

Around five people in every 100,000 are affected by neuroendocrine cancer in the UK, which is 3,000 new cases each year. Neuroendocrine tumours can affect people of all ages, both male and female.


Neuroendocrine tumours is the umbrella term for a group of unusual tumours that develop from neuroendocrine cells.
Neuroendocrine cells are specialised cells throughout the body that release hormones (chemicals) into the blood when they are stimulated by nerves.
Neuroendocrine tumours may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous) and are often slow-growing.
The cells most commonly affected by neuroendocrine tumours are found in the lung and digestive system, but these tumours can be found in many sites of the body, including the pancreas, ovaries and testes.
It is not yet fully understood what causes neuroendocrine tumours, but most are not inherited. However, it is still important to explore family history as there are some cases where the tumour may be inherited, such as in multiple endocrine neoplasia.

The symptoms of neuroendocrine cancer can vary depending on where it is. Early symptoms may include tiredness or digestive complaints, or there may be no symptoms at all, which may make diagnosis difficult.
One type of neuroendocrine cancer is called carcinoid. Very often, the symptoms of carcinoid tumours are similar to other more common conditions. For example, a neuroendocrine tumour in the digestive system may cause diarrhoea, constipation and tummy pains, mimicking irritable bowel syndrome.
Because neuroendocrine tumours affect hormone-producing cells, they can cause abnormally large amounts of hormones to be released into the blood. Sometimes, the hormones they produce cause noticeable symptoms like flushing, cramps, asthma-like wheezing, heart problems and skin changes.

 The outlook for neuroendocrine cancer depends on the type of cancer, how fast it is growing and how advanced it is when you are diagnosed. It should be a very individualised approach for each newly diagnosed patient.
If the cancer has been caught at an early stage and has not spread to other parts of your body, the tumour may be cured with surgery.
Unfortunately, many patients are diagnosed later on, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. However, with treatment, the disease and its symptoms can often be controlled for many years.

The Racecourse  - Ascort Racecourse is a very beautiful place to visit. It is extremely posh with statues placed randomly across the outer limits of the course. The stands are backed and fronted by glass to from high up you can just look out across the magnificent racecourse. We all would have loved to have come here on a race day. You never no maybe another time. 

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