8 years and counting

I was first diagnosed with a brain tumour (oligodendroglioma grade 2) in September 2014. I had surgery and innumerable MRIs following. In April 2020 I was diagnosed with a more malignant tumour (anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3) and then had a year of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Throughout my illness I have learned so much about cancer research, treatment and the hope for a 'cure', though I realise that the proportion of the human race with any brain tumour is a very small number. I understand this means that the key to research, funding and a 'cure' - money - is often directed towards cancers that affect more people. I have no problem with this, except that I learned that the prognosis for anyone with inoperable or grades 3 or 4 brain tumours has not changed in the last 20 years. For example, anyone diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade 4 is, on average, likely to only see the next 18 months before they pass away. I believe that clinical research is key to finding better and faster ways to diagnose, treat and extend the life of these people (despite the small number of sufferers). The Neurosurgical Research Foundation has introduced me to a few researchers working on these issues, and I think funding for the technology, research, clinical trials and people power they need is essential. This probably applies to all cancer, but I think this particular kind of cancer (gliomas) is in more need.

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