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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

Response to Department of Health’s Annual Report on Improving Outcomes in Cancer

The Department of Health released, in partnership with Public Health England and NHS England, its third annual Improving Outcomes: a Strategy for Cancer (IOSC) report. The report has the aims of improving survival rates of cancer patients, with a key focus on earlier diagnosis of cancer and improved access to the best possible treatment, with the goal of saving 5,000 additional lives a year.
The report announced some successes:
• Advances in cancer screening, particularly on the first stage introducing of Bowel Scope Screening (BSS)
• The Be Clear on Cancer campaign promoting success in earlier diagnosis
• Generating better access for all to the best possible treatment, for example through enhanced access to Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy
• Substantial advances and reporting of new datasets and the analysis of information
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In policy specific to brain tumours, an online tool for GPs that aims to improve the learning about early diagnosis of the disease in children and young people was released in September 2013. Early diagnosis is crucial in beating brain tumours and this programme targets the most important people in this fight: GPs. Without primary care that is informed and prepared brain tumours will continue to be deadly and this system will help thousands of young people stand a better chance.
The report also highlights how far brain tumour care, treatment and research still has to come. With five year survival rates of 21%, compared to 80% for cancers of the breast (women), prostate, testis, Hodgkin lymphoma and melanoma of skin and overall drop in cancer mortality in under 75s, brain tumour chances still lag behind other cancers. The main way we can tackle this is by investing money into research so that new treatments and potential cures can be found.
Brain Tumour Research urges the government to stop cutting the money spent on research into brain tumours (government funding fell from £0.9 million in 2010/11 to £0.7 million in 2011/2012) and commit more money to brain tumour specific research. Only through this can we save lives.
Please sign our e-petition now and ask all your contacts to do the same – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

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