It would probably surprise most people to discover that there is currently no dedicated brain cancer facility anywhere in the UK. Yet the need is pressing. Each year, 5,000 people are diagnosed with primary brain cancers,while 60,000 others develop secondary brain tumours. It affects all ages, from newborn to elderly, and survival rates are extremely low: more people under 40 die of a brain tumour than any other cancer.
Unlike many other cancers, diagnosis and treatment can be random and slow. There is no consistency in the approach to care, with opinions and treatments varying widely depending on where you are and who treats you. There isn't a dedicated clinical care and trials centre in the UK with a critical mass of expertise to help establish best practice. And a lack of designated space within hospitals means that tumour operations are often bumped down the line while 'more urgent' cases are given priority.
Brain cancer research has also suffered from neglect. There are over one hundred types of brain tumour and the complexity and delicacy of the brain make them unpredictable and difficult to research and treat. Added to which, brain tumours haven't received as much attention as other,more common cancers. As a result, there has been almost no significant change in our understanding of brain cancer for nearly a century, and very few advances.
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