Tessa Jowell highlights the devastating effect of her brain tumour diagnosis

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Former cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell appeared on the Today programme this morning talking about her brain tumour diagnosis and the need for more research into the disease

We have worked with the BBC team, in partnership with some of our supporters and researchers whose cutting-edge projects we fund, to share the voice of our community with a global audience.

Former Minister for Public Health and Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, spoke about having a "clear sense of purpose" despite being diagnosed with brain cancer last year.

In May 2017, Baroness Jowell was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour known as glioblastoma. In her first interview on the subject, she spoke to the Today programme.

Tessa's heartfelt interview for the programme outlined the devastating impact of her diagnosis and the effect cancer is having on her everyday life.

Our CEO, Sarah Lindsell, was a guest on the programme and spoke about the issues faced by those diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Sarah said: “Tessa Jowell pledged, when she announced her own brain tumour diagnosis, to help others living with cancer. By speaking openly and honestly about her experience on the Today programme this morning, she is doing exactly that.

“In sharing some of the issues that face everyone diagnosed with a brain tumour, she will reduce the isolation felt by thousands of people in the UK and around the world who live with the disease.

“We have worked alongside Tessa Jowell and the team at Today, in partnership with some of our supporters and researchers, to highlight the need for improvements in brain tumour services as well as the global drive towards more effective treatments.

“We hope all those who can help us accelerate change will listen and act."

The House of Lords Debate

Tomorrow, the Labour peer will introduce a debate in the House of Lords on evaluating cancer treatments and raising life expectancy for cancer patients.

She will talk about the poor prognosis for those diagnosed with brain cancer, the need for more investment in research and the importance of increasing patient involvement in new types of clinical trials.

And she will support our work and others in increasing global collaboration between researchers specialising in the field.

Baroness Jowell said: “Like thousands of others diagnosed with cancer every year, I have had to learn a huge amount very quickly about the disease I am living with.

“I now know that brain cancer survival statistics make particularly grim reading, wherever you are diagnosed around the world.

“But there is growing momentum globally to change that, driven by The Brain Tumour Charity and others.

“I hope this debate will help to raise awareness of the need 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."

Watch more from the interview here