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Unicorn Foundation

Multimedia News Release: Cancer patients raise their cups and voices for World NET Cancer Day

Tomorrow is World NET Cancer Day, a global event dedicated to raising awareness for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). This is the rare cancer that killed Aretha Franklin earlier this year and took Steve Jobs life in 2011. 

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To raise awareness the Unicorn Foundation are working with cafes throughout the country, by providing all participating cafes with “Let’s Talk About NETs” branded coffee cups to increase community awareness about this frequently misdiagnosed form of Cancer. 

This year also coincides with the launch of the Unicorn Foundation’s social media campaign, titled ‘The Voice of NETs’; a sequence of patient videos that provide a voice to the NETs community and highlight the often-misdiagnosed symptoms and the need for a greater understanding amongst medical professions and the general public.

“They don’t really know what treatment to give me. They don’t really know how long I’ll keep living for.” 

States Kim Verlin, a NET cancer patient at Peter Mac who was misdiagnosed with pneumonia before an X-ray revealed NETs in her lung that had metastasised to her brain. 

“It killed Steve Jobs and it killed Aretha Franklin. Nobody seems to know what it is and it has a really high mortality rate,” says Ms Verlin.

Commonly located in the pancreas, lungs, abdomen, reproductive organs and bowel, NET symptoms can include, weight loss, hot flushes, shortness of breath and diarrhoea. Sadly, NETs are frequently misdiagnosed with conditions such as: anxiety, menopause, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or diabetes.

By the time patients are correctly diagnosed, life expectancy can be drastically reduced. Early detection is the key.

Simone Leyden, CEO of the Unicorn Foundation, says:

“60% of patients have advanced stage NET cancer by the time they are correctly diagnosed and there is currently no cure. We have more than 10,000 known cases in Australia and another 1,800 patients expected to be diagnosed within the next year”

“We hope that this campaign will reach out to the wider community, that it will resonate with even just one person to push their doctor and ask for a second opinion if they are not convinced with their diagnosis.” 

To further raise awareness, the Unicorn Foundation is also hosting the inaugural NETWalk. Leading medical experts from around the world, NET patients and their families are meeting in Melbourne, lacing up their sneakers and pounding the pavement on World NET Cancer Day to help raise awareness for neuroendocrine cancer (NETS).

This year also overlaps with the Asia Pacific Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (APNETS) symposium, hosted in Melbourne. An annual, global program that brings together medical experts from around the world that specialise in the field of neuroendocrine tumours (NETS). 

For a list of participating cafes and workplaces click here

To view ‘The Voice of NETs’ campaign videos click here

For more information including information on the Unicorn Foundation, NET statistics and patient videos view our Media Kit here

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Background Info:

The Unicorn Foundation is the only Australian charity at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness and understanding of NETs, both within the medical profession and the wider public. 

World NET Cancer Day is a global event held annually on the 10th of November to raise awareness of neuroendocrine cancers around the world. 


Megan Mitchell 0412 581 858
Simone 0419 871 975