Neurological conditions
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Could you spot the signs of a brain tumour?

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,727 Disability Gamechanger
edited October 2020 in Neurological conditions

You might not know it but the 14th International Brain Tumour Awareness week is taking place all this week (24th to 31st October 2020). 

This event aims to make people more aware of the signs of brain tumours to know when a trip to the GP might be needed.  This is more important than ever as the Cancer Research website tells us there were 12,000 cases of brain tumours in the UK alone between 2015-2017. 

What are brain tumours?

The NHS describe brain tumours as:

"A growth of cells in the brain that multiplies in an abnormal, uncontrollable way”

Once found, brain tumours are graded by doctors based on their type and severity. 

The grades fall into two main groups:
  • non-cancerous (benign) brain tumours – these are low grade (grade 1 or 2), which means they grow slowly and are less likely to return after treatment
  • cancerous (malignant) brain tumours – these are high grade (grade 3 or 4) and either start in the brain (primary tumours) or spread into the brain from elsewhere (secondary tumours); they're more likely to grow back after treatment”

What are the symptoms of brain tumours?

The symptoms of brain tumours typically include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Changes in personality
  • Nausea and sickness
  • Vision and speech problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Weakness down one side of the body.
A photograph of one hand holding another another in a gesture of support

Tom's story

Brain tumours have been in the news recently with the sad announcement that Tom Parker from boyband ‘The Wanted’ has been diagnosed with a stage 4 terminal glioblastoma (the name given to his specific type of tumour).   

Speaking about his initial symptoms with OK! Magazine, Tom’s wife Kelsey recalled him having an unexpected seizure:

“Tom knew something wasn’t right after the first seizure, so he took himself to A&E the day after it happened. I thought maybe it was an infection because he was complaining about having a bad back and he had a mark on his head."

Tom has said he is avoiding researching his prognosis and is determined to approach the future with a positive mindset:

“I need everyone’s love and positivity. I am going to fight this. We are already exploring alternative treatments and looking at clinical trials both here and abroad, and our friends have been doing research. There are so many stories of people who were given a bad prognosis and are still here five,10, even 15 years later. We’re going to fight this all the way”

For more advice and information about brain tumours, please visit the Brain Tumour Support or MacMillan Cancer Support website

Although talking about brain tumours can seem daunting, Tom’s story reminds us just how vital it is that we do.  So, let’s carry on the discussion.

  • Have you or a loved one ever had a brain tumour?  If so, what is your story?
  • Do you feel confident in spotting the symptoms of a brain tumour?
  • What would your message be to Tom and his young family?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 7,339 Disability Gamechanger
    Very interesting and informative post I dont have any experience to share but it does raise your awareness 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this. Really informative and needs to be spoken about more.
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  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,896 Disability Gamechanger
    I have no personal knowledge of anyone with this this type of cancer. The difficulty is that some of the symptoms will mimic other disorders, so I wouldn't necessarily feel confident in spotting them, tho some would seem to definitely point to something 'wrong' in a younger person. This highlights the need to therefore seek a medical opinion & evaluation by MRI if such symptoms are a new occurrence.
    To Tom & his family I would say, thank you for raising awareness, & altho you don't want to know any prognosis, the younger you are, the better. Live each day to the full with your family, & maintain that positivity.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,727 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for your replies everyone!

    @chiarieds You make a good point about the symptoms mimicking other conditions.  I lost my stepdad to a brain tumour and for a long time we thought his symptoms were down to low mood or him being exhausted.  This re-affirms how important it is we visit our GP (or telephone!) asap if we begin to experience anything unusual or off  <3
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