Each year in the UK around 680 children and young people are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
We are recognising Brain Tumour Awareness Month this March to highlight the impact that a brain tumour diagnosis has on the lives of children and young people, and their families.
While there have been some improvements in brain tumour survival, the outlook for many of the high risk brain tumours remains poor. Sadly brain, CNS and intracranial tumours are the greatest cancer-related cause of death in children in the UK.
For those children and young people who survive their diagnosis, around 60% will live with moderate or severe neurological disabilities due to the treatments they have undergone. Unfortunately, treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy are not cancer specific and can cause damage to normal cells leading to significant long term side effects.
Children with Cancer UK fund several innovative brain tumour research projects, which will directly impact on survival and quality of life for patients. We need to continue funding this critical research and future projects to accelerate improvements to treatments and improve outcomes for all types of brain tumours.
Eve was only 10 years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour called craniopharyngioma in 2019. It started with her eyesight going fuzzy, and with headaches, and then she got a droopy eyelid.
When she was finally scheduled for an MRI scan, the doctors found a tumour that was stopping the fluid draining in her brain. Eve was immediately booked in for surgery, which helped restore her vision, and she then returned to school part time.
In May 2020, Eve’s symptoms returned, and her tumour had developed a new cyst. Over the summer of 2020, Eve underwent six intense weeks of proton beam therapy, before ringing the end of treatment bell.
Get involved this March to spread awareness of brain tumours in children and young people, and the urgent need for more research.