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Honouring Tessa Jowell

In May 2017, Tessa Jowell was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, the most common high-grade (cancerous) primary brain tumour in adults. Whilst living with cancer, she bravely spoke out in Parliament and across the media, not only to raise awareness, but to help change the current poor prognosis for brain cancer patients and improve patient experience. Tessa Jowell highlighted the need for more investment in research, for wider sharing of medical data to accelerate progress and the importance of increasing patient involvement in new types of clinical trial.

Tessa Jowell's courage and honesty in speaking about her brain tumour diagnosis, coupled with her fierce determination to improve the lives of others affected by the disease, has already achieved change and brought hope to an often-forgotten community of patients and families.

As at so many times in her life, she has been an extraordinary driving force for change.

Her passionate support for better diagnosis of brain tumours and more flexible clinical trials for patients, and for global data-sharing to improve understanding of the disease, will continue to have a real and lasting impact in our quest for a cure.

I know that brain cancer survival statistics make particularly grim reading, wherever you are diagnosed around the world. But there is growing momentum to change that: for more research into effective treatments for brain tumours as well as for the continuing development and improvement of cancer services generally in the UK and around the world. I hope this debate will give hope to other cancer patients like me, so that we can live well together with cancer for longer.

Tessa Jowell