Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Two mums desperate for a cure attend UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017
Two mothers, both of whose families have been devastated following the diagnosis of sons with aggressive brain tumours, attended the UK Brain Tumour Symposium in Milton Keynes on Thursday, 12th October.
Figen Rawlinson, 41, of Calvert Green and Jayne Hilsdon, 55, of Buckingham were both eager to hear about advances being made in the world of brain tumour research. Figen lost her eldest son Taylan less than a year after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour on the brain stem in 2008. He was just seven years old. Jayne heard the heart-breaking news just after Christmas 2014, that her beloved son Oli, then 22, had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. Following chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Oli, has had innovative immunotherapy treatment and is currently doing well, although he and his family know his future is uncertain.
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 and Campaigning 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.
Jane, said: “Research into this disease is really important to me. Both Figen and I know that brain tumours can affect anyone at any age, but no one knows what causes them. I was the proudest mum when Oli – the first in our extended family to go to university – graduated from Cambridge with a First and then landed an amazing job with Blackstone, an American Private Equity company in London. Just a year later he was diagnosed with the type of brain tumour which normally has a survival prognosis of 12 to 18 months. 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.”
Figen commented: “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 was comforting to hear from scientists that advances are being made, although any improvements in treatment are all far too late for Taylan. I am 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 Taylan. There will always be that part of our family missing. We want revenge on this disease and we won’t rest until there is a cure.”
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.