'I hate brain cancer because it steals away memories, personalities and abilities before finally stealing life'
Watching my mum die slowly from ovarian cancer - heartbreaking. But, I was able to fully connect with mum right to the end for which I am grateful. If faced with a terminal Brain Tumour diagnosis, my fear would be that I might lose the person long before they die. Who can predict the parts of the brain which might be affected; the connections which might be lost?
Sadly, several of my friends have first hand experience of the effect a brain tumour can have on the whole family.
More children and adults under the age of 40 die from brain tumours than any other cancer. In over 40 years the ten year survival rates for brain tumours has improved little for adults and stands at just 13%. Despite these facts, less than 2% of the £500million invested in cancer research in the UK every year is spent on brain tumours.
Symptoms of a Brain Tumour
Around 10,600 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year. Raised pressure in the skull can cause headaches, seizures, changes in vision, nausea and tiredness. Symptoms in children are often slightly different to those in adults. They can include persistent vomiting, recurring headaches, abnormal eye movements, seizures, behaviour change, abnormal balance/walking/coordination, blurred/double vision or abnormal head position.
Living with a Brain Tumour
The primary care role of someone with a brain tumour will often fall onto the shoulders of already emotionally exhausted family members. Potential side effects of having a brain tumour can include personality changes; difficulties with memory or communication; fatigue and depression. A person's independence can be curbed as they may be required to surrender their driving license and may not be able to secure travel insurance needed to travel abroad.
The Brain Tumour Charity
The Brain Tumour Charity has a five year UK strategy to drive change in improving the future for those affected by a brain tumour with two over-riding goals. These are to double the survival rates within 10 years and to halve the harm that brain tumours have on quality of life.
If you would like to support the work of The Brain Tumour Charity as part of the fortycubed fundraising challenge you can so do via this link.