Primary brain tumour diagnosis for 500 children each year

It’s Brain Tumour Awareness Month so we’re sharing information on signs, symptoms and real stories.

Chrissy Fletcher and daughter
Mother Chrissy Fletcher and her daughter whose life was saved by a leaflet on brain tumours.
With 500 children and young people diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year we’re looking at information about brain tumours in children. Today we're focusing on the HeadSmart campaign, funded and promoted by The Brain Tumour Charity. HeadSmart research in the 2000s investigated the reasons behind delayed diagnosis of childhood brain tumours and identified common signs and symptoms by age groups. The campaign has reduced the time between symptoms and diagnosis from 9.1 weeks in 2011 to 6.5 weeks today, with the aim to reduce this further to 4 weeks or less. Among others, typical symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people include:
  • Persistent or recurring vomiting
  • Persistent or recurring headaches
  • Balance/co-ordination problems/walking problems
  • Blurred or double vision.
The Brain Tumour Charity has a number of animations for children that explain brain tumours, scans, chemotherapy and more. These have proved popular among people of all ages, not just children. One story showing the power of HeadSmart is that of a young girl (now aged nine) who was diagnosed after an optician gave her a HeadSmart card. Mother Chrissy Fletcher said: “I have no doubt whatsoever my little girl wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for the HeadSmart card. I am so grateful to The Brain Tumour Charity and the optician.” The Brain Tumour Charity runs HeadSmart in partnership with the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. For further information on brain tumours in children, you can read real stories on Ethan and Mikey. Both boys were seven-year-olds when diagnosed with a brain tumour and later received rehabilitation at The Children's Trust.
Share page
Print page
Follow us