Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Two women desperate for a cure attend UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017
Two women, both of whom have been affected by aggressive brain tumours, one personally and one through her husband, attended the UK Brain Tumour Symposium in Milton Keynes on Thursday, 12th October.
Tanya Malpass, 63 (64 on 18.10.17) of Weston Turville and Barbara Barnes, 78, of Quainton were both eager to hear about advances being made in the world of brain tumour research and support.
Tanya was diagnosed with a high-grade glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in March 2015 after finding she had started talking in spoonerisms. She underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Barbara lost her husband, Phil, aged 63, to a GBM in 2010, less than a month after diagnosis. Added to this tragedy, one of their daughters’ brothers-in-law had passed away a few months prior to Phil, also as a result of a brain tumour; and if this was not enough for one family, Barbara’s brother, Nigel Mabbett, of Stoke Mandeville was diagnosed in March this year, aged 59, also with a grade 4 GBM. Now, 60, Nigel has had two major operations, radiotherapy and is just about to embark on a second bout of oral chemotherapy. He is realistic as he knows his survival is very limited, but according to Barbara: “is really positive and outwardly amazingly cheerful.”
The UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017 (formerly known as the UK Brain Tumour Summit) 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.
Tanya, who has remained positive throughout and writes a blog to inform and encourage others at www.bobtheblogsblog.com, said: “I am convinced that hope and expectation are very powerful treatments, without which even the best medical care can easily fail. I was given a survival prognosis of 12 to 18 months, yet three years on I am tumour free and living life to the full. Seeking new treatments and offering support and encouragement are vital to keep hope alive for patients like me.
“Research into this disease is really important. Both Barbara and I 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.”
Barbara commented: “I can’t believe how badly our family has been affected by brain cancer – three members, including my husband and brother, and none of them blood relatives.
“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 that advances are being made, although any improvements in treatment are all far too late for Phil. 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 Phil. 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.
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.