Early and Accurate Diagnosis

We have worked tirelessly to reduce diagnosis times and improve the accuracy of diagnosis so that brain tumours are treated earlier and with the best possible treatment.

Over the past five years, we have:

Reduced diagnosis times for children from 13 to 6.5 weeks

Completed research to identify a set of recognised symptoms in adults which will form the basis of a future awareness campaign

Invested in clinical research to improve the accuracy of diagnosis

Early diagnosis of brain tumours can save lives

Know the signs and symptoms: HeadSmart

HeadSmart raises awareness of the most common signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and teenagers

Visit the HeadSmart website
Luke Wright

Increased parental awareness of HeadSmart has helped to reduce the childhood diagnosis time to 6.5 weeks in 2016, improving the lives of children like Luke Wright

We set ambitious targets

Increase parental awareness of HeadSmart from 20 to 25%*

Reduce average diagnosis time for children/young people from 13 to four weeks

Measure the average adult diagnosis time by 2017 and halve by 2020

How did we do?

of parents are aware of HeadSmart

an average of the diagnosis time for babies (4.1 weeks), children (6.9 weeks) and teens (10.3 weeks) measured in 2018, down from 13 weeks prior to 2015

In 2018, research suggested that diagnosis in adults took less than four weeks, on average. However, this data was skewed by emergency diagnoses. We know many people have a poor and lengthy path to diagnosis so will launch an awareness campaign in 2021

Accuracy of diagnosis is improving

Evidence from INSTINCT – our funded research programme into high-risk paediatric brain tumours – has led to a change in diagnostic practice: every child diagnosed with a brain tumour will receive a molecular diagnosis on the NHS

Improving accuracy of diagnosis is an increasing priority for The Brain Tumour Charity as tailored treatments evolve

Alex Hobbs

Four-year old Alex Hobbs was the first patient in the PNET5 trial, co-funded with Oscar’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity

We will use our improved understanding of adult symptoms, and the diagnosis pathway, to raise awareness in a campaign post COVID-19 and measure the impact of that campaign in BRIAN

Teens remain a challenge to reach, with the average diagnosis time still over two months

*Previously increase public awareness from 15 to 30% but changed to parental in 2018. Previously five weeks, changed in 2018.