Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today highlighted the need for more research, earlier diagnosis and greater public awareness of brain tumours.
The call came during a debate today [7 December] on Brain Tumour Awareness in Scotland.
Speaking during the debate, Mr McArthur argued that “the underlying problem is that not enough is known about brain tumours.” He added: “Only 1% of cancer research funding is being spent in this area, an amount that in real terms has gone down not up.”
According to Cancer Research UK, Brain tumours are the ninth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cases.
Orkney’s MSP also used the debate to pay tribute to the work of Friends of the Neuro Ward ARI in Aberdeen, and particularly local campaigner Caroline Critchlow for what he described as her “incredible work over the years”.
Commenting after the debate, Mr McArthur said:
“Brain cancer is the biggest single cause of cancer-related death for children and adults under the age of 40 in the UK. Yet, public awareness of brain tumours remains limited as does the amount of funding going into research in this area. That is both tragic and inexplicable.
“There are lots of different brain tumours and their symptoms are easily confused with other things. With an apparent reluctance to refer for MRI scans, too often people are presenting at A&E by which point it is invariably far too late.
“This in turn puts pressure on the neuro wards which face coping with a wide range of different referrals, but a lack of funding to deal with them.
“Caroline Critchlow and her fellow campaigners are to be commended for their efforts on behalf of those affected by brain tumours. They are also absolutely right that we need to see earlier diagnosis, increased research funding and greater public awareness.”