Raising awareness of rare and uncommon cancers in Hackney
Today (10 November) is NET awareness day, which aims to increase awareness and action on rare and less common neuroendocrine cancers (NETs).
Work has been ongoing to increase understanding and action from health professionals to improve outcomes for patients in Hackney. The Council has worked closely with health partners, including City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG), and charities such as the NET Patient Foundation to provide training for health professionals and engage with residents living with rare and uncommon cancers.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer. A cancer is considered rare if fewer than six in 100,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. However, there are many types of rare and uncommon cancers, and 46% of diagnoses are in this category. 55% of deaths from cancer in 2016 were from those forms of cancers, and people living with a rare or less common cancer often report difficulties in diagnosis, treatment and care.
On average 22 people in Hackney are diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) each year and more than 100 people in Hackney are currently living with this uncommon cancer. More than half of NET cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, often because of the similarity of symptoms to other conditions.
Cancer will sadly touch most of us at some point, and while research has improved the diagnosis and treatment for some types of cancer, the same is not true for some uncommon forms.
It is important to take part in NET Cancer Awareness Day to raise public awareness that in turn can improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for people living with rare and less common cancers in Hackney.
NHS services have made changes to make sure it's safe to be seen during coronavirus. During lockdown people should still make sure they are protecting their health by making GP appointments if they are concerned or feel unwell. If someone notices a change in their body that isn't normal for them, or possible signs or symptoms of cancer they should book an appointment with their GP.
In October 2018 Hackney Council passed a motion to help raise awareness of rare and uncommon cancers. Find out more about NET awareness day by visiting the NET Patient Foundation website.