Brain screening and family history of brain cancer

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On the 24th of May 2000 my husband's mother passed away with a Glioblastoma at 57-years-old. On the 23rd of May 2018 my darling husband and best friend Mike passed away with a Glioblastoma aged 54.

According to Cancer Research UK "The more relatives who have had the same or related types of cancer, and the younger they were at diagnosis, the stronger someone’s family history is. This means that it is more likely that the cancers are being caused by an inherited faulty gene." 

Prior to his diagnosis, Mike had been showing evident symptoms that  correlated with a brain tumour but his GP and every healthcare professional he came into contact with, dismissed it as a virus. My husband had been very ill for 6 weeks but it took a car accident, risking the life of our 3-year-old daughter, for Mike's apparent symptoms to be taken seriously. In fact when the ambulance arrived at the accident scene they nearly dismissed him again. Health care professionals all took my concerns for my husband as an overreaction.

But if my husband had been screened from the moment he showed symptoms, taking into account his age and family history of brain cancer, then he would have still been  able to receive invaluable treatment that would have prolonged his life, and given him the essential time to adjust and make special final memories with his family. By the time Mike was finally diagnosed it was too late as he was deemed  too weak to receive any treatment available on the NHS. 

My husband and I have a 3-year-old daughter together and two elder daughters whom we wish to protect from this devastating disease by ensuring that they can get vital MRI brain scanning on the NHS to prevent any further loss of life in our family and other families with a history of brain cancer.

I call upon Professor Bob Steele, the Chair of the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC), to support the implementation of this screening programme and make brain screening accessible to everyone with a family history of brain cancer.

Please join me in preventing this heartbreaking disease from claiming more lives and more families.


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