The nation mourns the passing of legendary musician and recording artist Aretha Franklin from "pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type" (according to a statement by her publicist). Many news reports mention pancreatic cancer as the cause of her death but more specifically she had a neuroendocrine tumor located in her pancreas (pNET). Neuroendocrine cancer makes up 5-6% of the cases of cancer found in the pancreas. Neuroendocrine tumors can appear in a variety of sites in the body. Download the NET Primer to read more about neuroendocrine tumors.
Healing NET issued a press release with comments from Aretha's physician Dr. Philip A. Philip and Healing NET co-founder and chief medical director Dr. Eric Liu in the hope that members of the press will get the story of this disease straight. Greater awareness can lead to quicker diagnosis and better outcomes for patients.
Here are some links to other posts that seek to set the record straight about pancreatic NETs:
This blog post by Dr. Eric Liu describes PNETs (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors).
J. Leonard Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society posted on the distinction between the two cancers. Chris Lozina, who hosts the online group, Dr. Liu's Zebras, is the patient advocate referred to in this article: "Aretha Franklin Died From Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor, Not Pancreatic Cancer. There Is A Difference."
- LACNETS also has a blog post on the Queen of Soul with further links that discusses the difference and why it matters to the NET community.