I recognise there is much more to be done to improve to increase survival and quality of life for people affected by a brain tumour. Brain tumours have blighted so many lives: every year around 12,100 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour and just 14 per cent of people survive their disease for 10 years or more.
The Government has sought to build on the legacy of Dame Tessa Jowell’s campaigning in her final months, by committing to make the treatment 5-ALA – which enables more accurate surgery on brain tumours – available in every neurosurgical centre in England.
Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours through campaigns such as HeadSmart and Better Safe Than Tumour are vital to improving earlier diagnosis, and improving outcomes for people affected by brain tumours.
I understand the value of research into the causes, treatment and care for brain tumours, and commend the work of patient groups like The Brain Tumour Charity and Brain Tumour Research in this area. As you may know, the Government is committed to provide £40 million investment over five years for research into brain tumours as part of the Dame Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.
I am aware that the APPG on Brain Tumours is currently conducting the “Pathway to a Cure” inquiry into barriers to research into brain tumours. When the inquiry publishes a report in early 2023, I will study the findings and would be happy to ensure ministers are aware of any recommendations that are made.
Unfortunately, I will be unable the APPG on Brain Tumours’ meeting scheduled for 23 November due to prior Parliamentary commitments. However, please be assured that I do recognise the importance of this issue.