As a registered nurse, Jeanne Lambert couldn't believe she'd never heard of the cancer with which she was diagnosed last year.
Saturday, runners and walkers will take to the streets around
It's the first year of the Run for Hope, a 5K run and walk to raise
awareness about carcinoid cancer and raise money for cancer research in
After three to four years of high blood pressure, hot flashes, wheezing, dizzy spells and small strokes, Lambert, now 61, turned a corner that would lead to a diagnosis and treatment.
On May 14, 2004, a Friday, fatigue forced her to leave work early.
day, she went to
That Sunday, she suffered a major rectal bleedout and lost nearly four units of blood, or about four pints. Surgeons removed her small intestine and colon and diagnosed her with carcinoid cancer.
"I was diagnosed with a cancer - and I'm a nurse - that I had never
heard of," said Lambert, who works at
Carcinoid tumors are an in-between tumor - not quite benign and not
malignant - according to the
Doctors are not looking for the rare cancer either, said Dr. Richard
medical director at the
"The symptoms are so common, doctors think of common illnesses," Warner said. It's one reason the foundation has tagged the zebra as its mascot: Look for the unusual zebra, not the usual horse.
About one in 100 people develop small carcinoid cancers that don't
and do not cause problems, according to the
Only about one-quarter of people survive five years with carcinoid cancers that have spread to other parts of the body if they're not treated, according to the foundation. With treatment, cancer patients are able to live longer, Warner said.
In Lambert's case, by the time doctors diagnosed her carcinoid cancer, it had spread to her liver.
Lambert sought treatment at
Chemotherapy and radiation don't work against Lambert's stage IV, mid-gut cancer, she said.
She takes medication to stymie the symptoms that led to her diagnosis and says she feels great.
The illness has given her a new focus in her life: Educating people about the cancer that stalked her.
"I have a desire to make that word more common knowledge," Lambert said. "It was just a totally foreign word to me."
Originally published August 12, 2005, The Colorandoan on-line