Brain tumour patients need support

NOT enough is being done to help people cope with the life-changing experience of having a brain tumour, a support group has claimed.

Returning home after treatment was possibly their biggest challenge, said Mary Hogan, a radiation therapist at St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin.

“While a lot of improvements have been made in the care of brain tumour patients, a lot more needs to be done for them after they come home so they can get on with the rest of their life,” she said.

Often, employment and financial issues remain huge issues for people who survive a brain tumour so rehabilitation was crucial, said Ms Hogan, who is also a member of the Irish Brain Tumour Support Group.

International Brain Tumour Awareness Week began yesterday with 40 organisations around the world, including the Irish Brain Tumour Support Group, joining forces to raise awareness of brain tumours.

In particular, the Irish campaign group is calling on the Government to provide more funding for research into the causes of and treatments for brain tumours.

The group is calling for more awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours to ensure prompt and correct diagnosis, along with more support to be given to brain tumour patients, their families and care givers.

About 180,000 people every year throughout the world develop a primary, malignant, brain tumour.

The awareness week is led by the International Brain Tumour Alliance who are urging the World Health Organisation to acknowledge that brain tumours need specific attention.

Alliance chairman Denis Strangman said it was hoped that increased funding for research and new treatments would eventually eradicate the devastating disease.

More information on the Irish Brain Tumour Support Group can be obtained by calling the National Cancer Helpline free phone number at 1800-200700.

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