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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

#braintumourpetition - Campaigning update

by Hugh Adams

It is a critical time for our #braintumourpetition as we have passed the halfway mark towards our target and with a final push from all of our campaigners and activists, I know we can reach 100,000 signatures.

This week’s update focuses on the petition - it is at the core of what we do and what we want to achieve.

The petition is calling for increased national investment into brain tumour research to £35 million a year because brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.

Brain tumours still kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet despite promises of increased investment in research from the Government and larger cancer charities we are still not seeing parity of funding with other cancers such as breast, prostate and leukaemia.

More children and adults under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than any other cancer

Five-year survival for breast and prostate is over 70%, leukaemia over 40% yet for brain tumours it is just 12%

Since national cancer spend records began in 2002, £680 million has been invested in breast cancer, yet only £96 million in brain tumours – that’s a difference of £35 million a year over 17 years

Over 50,000 people have already signed our petition!

Together we are stronger, together we will find a cure.

More funding for research into brain tumours is urgently needed.

The Realf family’s 2015 e-petition gained over 120,000 signatures with our support.  This led to the Petition Committee’s first ever report and the April 2016 Westminster Hall debate attended by over 70 MPs.  This led to the establishment of a Task and Finish Working Group which formed later that year.

The House of Commons Petitions Committee declared that ‘successive Governments have failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades’. Their March 2016 report ‘Funding for research into brain tumours’ quoted the most recently reported investment in brain tumour research (2014) as 1.5% (£7.7 million) of the £498 million national spend on research into cancer. 

Things have improved since then and spend has doubled meaning that in 2018 it was £15 million but this isn’t the £35 million and the parity of funding with other cancer sites such as breast and leukaemia, we were asking for then, and continue to ask for.

Two years later, in 2018, when the report of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) task and finish working group on brain tumour research was published and Dame Tessa Jowell sadly died from her brain tumour, the Government committed to £40 million, with Cancer Research UK (CRUK), committing a further £25 million over five years.

Another two and half years down the line we learn that only £9.3 million of the promised Government money has been spent and the pandemic has seen CRUK warning of a £150 million downturn in their research spending.

Where does this leave brain tumour research?

Research into brain tumours must not be left behind – The nation needs to invest at least £35 million a year if we are to find a cure for brain tumours in the next 20 years.

We want to find a cure for all types of brain tumours

We want to see parity with other cancers and a national spend on brain tumour research of £35 million a year

We need your help to achieve over 100,000 signatures to our petition

We want to deliver this petition and your stories to the Prime Minister during March Brain Tumour Awareness month 2021

Please sign and share our #braintumourpetition by every method you can think of.

Thank you