Kettering dad backs call for more funding to tackle brain tumours

Rab Anderson and his daughter Cat
Rab Anderson and his daughter Cat

A man whose daughter was diagnosed with an incurable malignant brain tumour has welcomed a new report tackling underfunding of the disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

Having suffered with headaches, feeling very tired and dizzy and then having a mini-seizure, Cat Anderson, 37, was diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour in 2014, albeit slow-growing.

Shocked by her experience and having discovered that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, Cat and her family set up fundraising group Cat in a Hat.

Her dad Rab Anderson, of Kettering, is working with pioneering national charity Brain Tumour Research to press for change.

He said: “For more than a generation, governments have failed brain tumour patients and their families with the result that we still know so little about this dreadful disease and treatment options remain limited.

“Cat counts herself as one of the lucky ones as she is still here, but every time she goes for a scan to check on the tumour it is terrifying.

“We must fight for change to bring hope to families in the future who face the news that a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“If brain tumour research had been given the same levels of funding as breast cancer and leukaemia over the last 20 or 30 years, many of the brain tumour patients we have met who have since passed away, might still be with us today.”

Brain Tumour Research published its National Research Funding Report last week, aimed at addressing the historic underfunding of research into brain tumours and the devastating consequences of limited treatment options for patients and families.

Figures gained from the NCRI (National Cancer Research Institute) show that in 2015, charities funded 86 per cent of the national spend on research into brain tumours, while Government spend on brain tumour research represented just 0.52 per cent of its total spend on cancer research.

Chief executive of Brain Tumour Research Sue Farrington Smith said: “We hear of tragic stories every day which highlight the devastating consequences of limited treatment options for patients and families.

“Fewer than 20 per cent of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years of their diagnosis, compared with 86 percent of breast cancer and 51 per cent of leukaemia patients.

“Along with our fundraising groups like Cat in a Hat, we are fighting for parity in cancer research funding so that brain tumour patients can see the same improvements in treatments and outcomes that breast cancer and leukaemia patients have. Together we will find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30m to £35m a year, in line with breast and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments and ultimately find a cure.

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