Brain tumours – “the cinderella cancer”
Brain tumours affect people of all ages: there is a need for a better understanding of what causes them, how the brain reacts to them and how they behave – and an even greater need for better and more effective treatments.
- They are the most common cause of cancer death in children under 15 years of age <
- In 2008, 58% more women died from a brain tumour than from cervical cancer
- More men under 45 and women under 35 die from a brain tumour than any other cancer
- Over 6,500 primary tumours are diagnosed in the UK each year (NICE Guidelines 2006) – together with secondary tumours this figure rises to 16,000 at least
- The incidence of brain tumours has increased by 30-40% in the past 30 years – that’s 2% each year
- 20% of all cancers now spread to the brain
- Brain tumour research receives less than 1% (0.7%) of cancer research spending in the UK
Because their cause is still unknown, there is currently no effective cure for malignant brain tumours and patient survival has not changed appreciably over the last few decades.
- Brain tumours affect the organ that is the essence of the “self” – thought, emotion and all physical function
- The most common therapy for cancer (surgical removal of all or part of the organ) is difficult to apply
- They are largely resistant to the other usual cancer treatment options (chemotherapy and radiotherapy)