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Brain tumour survivor backs Bournemouth HeadSmart card distribution

Fantastic progress has been made last week with over 25,000 HeadSmart symptoms cards distributed to 46 schools across Bournemouth.

Since it was launched in June 2011, the HeadSmart campaign has reduced the time it takes on average to diagnose a childhood brain tumour in the UK from more than nine weeks to less than seven. Our aim is to reduce diagnosis time to 4 weeks or less in line with NHS targets.

Young Ambassador Chandos Green who is from Bournemouth, said: “I know now that if you are a child or young person with brain tumour symptoms, there can be a long delay between your first GP appointment and your diagnosis.

That shouldn’t happen. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and young people in the UK. Almost two thirds of children who survive a brain tumour are left with a life-altering, long-term disability that might have been preventable if the disease was spotted sooner.

My brain tumour has affected everything in my life, from my education to the day-to-day activities I’m able to enjoy. The experience has been a stressful one as I move from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital.

However I’m so glad Bournemouth Borough Council is leading the way in reducing diagnosis times. It’s not only GPs and parents who need to know about the warning signs of a brain tumour, it’s young people themselves.

Sam Crowe, Assistant Director of Public Health for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Although brain tumours are uncommon there is still evidence that many of the signs and symptoms are missed, leading to delays in diagnosis and a poorer chance of survival. I’m delighted that under this initiative parents in Bournemouth will benefit from the information cards and continue to contribute to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating condition.

Sarah Lindsell, The Brain Tumour Charity’s CEO said: “We are immensely grateful to Bournemouth Borough Council for helping us to spread awareness and continue our drive to reduce diagnosis times and save lives.