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HeadSmart. About HeadSmart. 2021. (accessed 4 February 2021)

Know the symptoms: diagnosing a brain tumour early is key

02 February 2021
3 min read
Volume 2 · Issue 1


Everyone has a role to play in reducing diagnosis times for childhood brain tumours, the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 years old in the UK. The Brain Tumour Charity's HeadSmart campaign aims to inform parents and healthcare professionals about the key early signs and symptoms of brain tumours.

Despite encouraging steps in early diagnosis over the last decade, the impact of brain tumours in children and young people remains devastating. While relatively rare, brain tumours are, in fact, the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. Around 500 children and young people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year, and, unfortunately, around a quarter will die from the disease (The Brain Tumour Charity, 2021).

For those that do survive, the impacts can be incredibly debilitating and life long. Brain tumours remain the largest cause of preventable or treatable blindness in children, and those diagnosed are 10 times more likely to experience a long-term disability than healthy children.

Governments and the NHS across the UK have set out bold ambitions to improve cancer survival and to deliver world-class cancer care in the coming years – and continued progress in early diagnosis is a fundamental principle of these plans.

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