National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year
Early-stage breast cancer survival exceeds 95%
A recent study funded by Cancer Research UK has shown that more than 95% of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will survive the disease for five years or more, compared to an average of just under 13% of brain tumour patients surviving more than five years from diagnosis.
Historically, breast cancer research has received almost 8% of the national cancer spend. This has led to significantly improved, and personalised, treatments for breast cancer patients, which in turn has drastically improved outcomes. In the late 1990s, the average five-year risk of dying from breast cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in its early stages was one in seven. Now it’s one in 20.
In the same timeframe, brain tumour research has received just 1% of the national spend and patient outcomes remain the same. Less than 13% of people diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour will survive their diagnosis for five years or more and brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer.
Director of Research, Policy and Innovation Dr Karen Noble, commented: “The
advancements in breast cancer care are most certainly something to celebrate.
This is a clear indication of the impact of research funding, and it is the
same across all cancer sites that the more you invest in research the better
the outcomes will become for patients. These statistics throw into stark relief
the current and historical funding for brain tumours. We haven’t been matching
the funding for breast cancer, or leukaemia, and so the devastating statistics
around brain tumours have not changed, with little hope available for
newly-diagnosed patients with aggressive disease. The pathway to a cure is
obvious. It is parity of funding we strive for because one day we want to be
celebrating news like this for brain tumour patients.”
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