Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Mother desperate for a cure attends UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017
A Leicestershire mother whose family has been devastated following the loss of their only son with an aggressive brain tumour, attended the UK Brain Tumour Symposium in Milton Keynes on Thursday, 12th October.
Eileen of Burton-on-the-Wolds was eager to hear about advances being made in the world of brain tumour research and support. Devoted parents, Eileen and Terry, lost their son Michael, a keen supporter of the Leicester Tigers and a former Loughborough Grammar School pupil, to an aggressive brain tumour in 2015, aged 27. Michael was first diagnosed when he was 24-years-old, after being admitted to hospital following a suspected seizure. He underwent brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.
The UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017 was jointly organised by two game-changing national charities Brain Tumour Research and brainstrust, which supports people living with a brain tumour throughout the UK. Leading experts from many areas of brain tumour research were brought together to show the progress that is being made on many fronts to improve outcomes for people living with a brain tumour.
Director of Research at Brain Tumour Research, Dr Kieran Breen, delivered an informative speech, updating the delegates on innovative brain tumour treatments from around the world, while Consultant Neurologist, Dr Robin Grant from the Edinburgh Cancer Centre focused his talk on the top 10 priorities for research.
Founder and Director of Services at brainstrust, Helen Bulbeck, spoke eloquently about living well with a brain tumour, improving quality of life and supportive care, while Head of Public Affairs at Brain Tumour Research, Carrie Hume, demonstrated how the charity is working with Parliamentarians to influence cancer policy at the highest levels as it campaigns to increase national investment for research into brain tumours.
Eileen said: “Michael was never defined by his condition and was determined to live life to the full and always with a smile on his face. After nearly two and a half years of responding well to his treatment it was a terrible shock to hear that his tumour was terminal.
“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. It makes no sense.
“Research into this disease is really important to us. We know that brain tumours can affect anyone at any age, but no one knows what causes them. It is only right that the national spend on research into brain tumours should be increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia.”
She concluded: “It was comforting to hear that advances are being made, although any improvements in treatment will be all far too late for Michael. We are determined to continue to raise awareness to help bring about better outcomes for patients so that other families in the future don’t have to go through what we have. Life will never be the same again without Michael. There will always be that part of our family missing. We won’t rest until there is a cure.”
A Masquerade Ball is being held on 4th November at Loughborough Grammar School in memory of Michael Smith to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. For more information and to buy tickets, go to https://masks4mike.com
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or Liz@braintumourresearch.org
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.
We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- They kill more children than leukaemia
- They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
- In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age
- Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.
Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.