Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner Hosting National Conference for Patients with Rare Form of Cancer

Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner Hosting National Conference for Patients with Rare Form of Cancer

NEW ORLEANS - Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner and National Carcinoid Awareness Network (NCAN) will be hosting the 2016 National Neuroendocrine Tumor Patient Conference at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans September 22 - 24, 2016, bringing expert physicians and guest speakers who specialize in neuroendocrine tumor (NET) diagnosis and treatment from around the country.

While NETs may be largely unheard of, the most high-profile and well-documented individual to have battled the disease may be Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away from neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer in 2011. A NET is a rare hormone producing tumor that affects neuroendocrine cells and can be present throughout the nervous and endocrine systems. Most of the time it is very slow growing and it is often difficult to diagnose. The patient may present with vague symptoms such as flushing, diarrhea, palpitations, cardiac disease or wheezing. Because of the difficulty in diagnosing these tumors, diagnosis is delayed on average of 10 years.

When St. Charles Parish resident Christopher Cordaro was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma in September 2015, he was told that his stage four cancer was incurable, inoperable and that treatment could potentially extend his life in the short-term. Following the immediate shock of diagnosis, Cordaro started treatment through the Ochsner Neuroendocrine Tumor program. After less than a year of intensive treatment, Cordaro’s most recent scans have shown no signs of the disease “Quite honestly, I probably shouldn’t even be here right now, given my diagnosis,” said Cordero. “Every day I thank God for the blessings, treatments and the Ochsner staff who have helped us get through this.”

Like hundreds of other NETs patients who will be attending the conference in September, Cordaro looks forward to not only hearing from experts in the treatment of NETs, but also to networking with his fellow patients. “I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone dealing with this disease to meet other patients and share what they are going through,” said Cordaro.

The Ochsner NET Program is an affiliation between Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner and Louisiana State University since 2006 and is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. It takes a multidisciplinary team approach to treating neuroendocrine tumor patients and their long-term follow-up care. Since its inception, the Ochsner NET Program has seen over 2,400 new patients. The program’s 5, 10 and 20 year survival rates are among the best in the United States and have been featured in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The Ochsner NET Program is also conducting a study featuring additional testing for NETs using the Gallium 68 scanner, an imaging scanner that uses positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals to better define tumors. The objective of this trial is to show that this type of scan offers a clearer image and greater tumor detail. The Gallium 68 results are then compared to standard imaging results to determine the best course of treatment.

For more information and to register for the 2016 National Neuroendocrine Tumor Patient Conference, please visit: ochsner.org/netconference

For more information on the Ochsner NET Program, please visit ochsner.org/nets or call 504-502-7010 or toll free at 1-866-91-ZEBRA(93272).

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Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 28 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 1,000 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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