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Governor Christie has signed legislation designating November 10 as “Neuroendocrine Tumor Cancer Awareness Day,” which was sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Gary Chiusano and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, all R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, on behalf of a Frankford resident who has been fighting the disease.
The 24th District delegation sponsored the resolution for Hap Rowan, a Frankford resident, who was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine tumor cancer, known as NET cancer, in 2008 after it took doctors eight years to make the diagnosis and who has been on a mission to spread the word how important early detection is to survive NET cancer.
“Hap Rowan has done so much to educate us, as legislators, to this relatively unknown cancer and we share his passion to raise awareness to lead to better treatments until we find a cure,” Oroho said. “Hap and his wife, Mary, have demonstrated great courage in his battle with NET cancer and we’re gratified to join with the Rowans and Governor Christie to help in the overall educational effort.”
NET cancer, or carcinoid cancers, occurs when neuroendocrine cells grow into malignant tumors resulting in lung infections, wheezing, abdominal pain, heart palpitations, heartburn, skin rashes, anxiety attacks and can be fatal.
Although thousands of Americans suffer from NET cancer, most are incorrectly diagnosed and treated for a different disease because there is a lack of knowledge in the medical community about the disease.
The resolution (SJR-12) seeks to recognize the plight of those with NET cancer and increase awareness of the disease to spur research, improve treatment and diagnosis.
“Many people with NET cancer have to wait more than five years for proper treatment because of delayed or mistaken diagnosis, which gives the cancer the time to spread to other vital organs,” Chiusano said. “Increasing awareness of these types of cancer will improve treatment until we can cure it once and for all and we’re proud to stand with the Rowans and Governor Christie to fight NET cancer.”
NET Cancer Awareness Day was first observed in 2010. It is represented by a zebra-striped ribbon because medical students are often taught: “When you hear the sound of hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” NET cancer advocates want them to look for zebras in order to detect sleeper diseases like NET cancer earlier.
“A delayed diagnosis prevents critical treatment which gives a cancer more time to destroy a person’s body,” McHose said. “Hap Rowan has been an inspiration for those battling a serious illness and we took great pride in working with the Rowans and Governor Christie to help prevent people from having to suffer the consequences of an undetected disease for several years.”
Senator Steve Oroho / 973-300-0200
Assemblyman Gary Chiusano / 973-300-0200
Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose / 973-300-0200
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