Bexley widow supports damning report into brain tumour treatment

PUBLISHED: 15:03 21 March 2016

Brain Tumour Research reception at The Speakers House, House of Commons, to celebrate the e-petition success.

Brain Tumour Research reception at The Speakers House, House of Commons, to celebrate the e-petition success.

Brain Tumour Research.

The report was issued following an online petition’s success

A report into the treatment of those suffering with brain tumours claimed patients had been “let down” by the government.

The petitions committee published its ‘funding for research into brain tumours’ report following the success of an online petition, which had been backed by Bexley widow Rachael Cotton, who lost her husband to an aggressive brain tumour in 2013.

In its summary of the report, health officials from the committee said: “Brain tumour patients have been let down by a lack of leadership from successive governments.

“The government’s response to the petition which prompted this inquiry gave us little reason to believe that the Department for Health had grasped the seriousness of this issue.

“The government’s position seems to be that it has no role to play in identifying gaps in research funding for specific cancers and taking decisive action to provide funding where it is needed. The already-stretched voluntary sector is left to find and fill the gaps in research funding. In doing this, successive governments have failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades.”

Mrs Cotton, 32 from Bexley, was one of 1,700 people who submitted evidence to the committee to help with its report.

She said: “Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40, yet, over the last decade, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“If there had been a similar investment into brain tumours as there has been for other site-specific cancers, then Nick might still have been here.”

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “The recommendations to the Government are bold and clear: implement an early diagnosis strategy for GPs and clinicians; use their influence to galvanise the game-changing levels of funding for brain tumour research needed to provide effective treatments, and remove the systematic barriers to continuous and sustainable brain tumour research. Together we will find a cure.”

Following the success of an online petition, which gained more than 120,00 signatures, members of parliament will now debate the topic on April 18.

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