Early and accurate diagnosis

One in three people need to visit a medical professional more than five times before they receive their diagnosis of a brain tumour. We need your help to change this.

Being told that you or a loved one has a brain tumour is life changing. Catching a tumour early may seem insignificant, but it's not. It means those affected can start their treatment sooner and face their challenges head on. In children, early diagnosis can save lives and improve long term quality of life. And for children and adults alike, it almost certainly means a better patient experience, with fewer repeat visits to the GP for vague but concerning symptoms.

We want to deliver early and accurate diagnosis to improve outcomes for people affected by a brain tumour.

What we are campaigning for

Early diagnosis

We hear time and time again of people visiting their GP repeatedly with vague symptoms only to be misdiagnosed. GPs have a difficult job. Brain tumours are rare and a GP may only see one or two patients with a brain tumour over their career.

Early detection can help save lives. Survival for patients diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour through emergency presentation is significantly worse than for patients presenting through all other routes.

Our HeadSmart campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour is designed to help GPs and parents. The campaign is award winning, is accredited by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and has helped to halve diagnosis times for children and teenagers affected by a brain tumour. We would like your help getting it into schools and GP surgeries. For more information about the HeadSmart campaign or email headsmart@thebraintumourcharity.org.

We also work with the NHS and other organisations to promote policies which encourage symptom awareness and enable healthcare professionals to diagnose faster. If you would like to know more about this work please email policy@thebraintumorucharity.org

Accurate diagnosis

There are over 140 types of brain tumour - it is not one disease. Molecular testing enables a more accurate evaluation of a tumour type which can benefit the patient. For example, a biomarker may be used to predict the effectiveness of Temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug used to treat high grade brain tumours.

Despite the benefits of molecular testing, it isn't available everywhere. A survey of 27 neuro-oncology centres conducted in 2015 highlighted that molecular tests for brain tumours, such as ATRX, are not being routinely carried out in hospitals across England and Scotland, despite being a simple and inexpensive diagnostic stain.

We will be campaigning to increase access to biomarkers.

Support our campaign

Unfortunately, molecular testing isn't available everywhere and the rarity of brain tumours means GPs can easily misdiagnose the symptoms. We are working with healthcare professionals and politicians to change this and improve diagnosis times for adults and children.

We campaign to improve life today for all those affected by a brain tumour, but we're only able to do this alongside our incredible supporters taking action to help bring about real, lasting change. That's why we need people like you to join us.

Campaigning activities range from sharing our campaign messages on social media to meeting with your local MP, so whether you can give a little time or a lot, we'd love to have you on board.

Get involved in local campaigning

Support our campaigns locally to help improve the lives of people affected by a brain tumour.

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Headsmart

Find out about our UK-wide campaign to reduce diagnosis times for childhood brain tumours.