May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month


May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month! During the month of May, millions of individuals across the Globe “Go Grey for May” in support of Loved Ones who are or have suffered from brain cancer. Grey is the colour of the Brain Cancer Awareness Ribbon.

Show YOUR support for all our Little Fighters battling Brain Cancer by turning your Facebook pages GREY during the month of May (you will find some covers and profile pics you are welcome to use on our FB Page.)

Few challenges can compare to dealing with the news that a child in your family has a brain tumour. The emotional burden can seem beyond anyone’s ability to cope, and there are very difficult decisions involved in coming to terms with the diagnosis.

Brain cancer survival rates are low and have hardly changed for 30 years, despite significant increases in survival for other cancers. Treatment is challenging because it affects our most vital organ. Brain cancer costs more per person than any other cancer, yet only receives a small fraction of government cancer research funding.

Relative five-year survival for brain cancer has hardly changed for 30 years, increasing less than 2% between the periods of 1984-1988 and 2009-2013. Only two in ten people diagnosed with brain cancer will survive for at least five years. Between 1982 and 2014, brain cancer incidence and mortality trends showed little change.

 

Brain Tumours – Quick Facts

 

Types of Brain Tumours

Brain Tumours are either Primary or Metastatic (Secondary)

Tumours:

  • Primary Brain Tumours are those which originate in the brain.
  • Metastatic (Secondary) Brain Tumours are those which originate from cancerous cells that have migrated from other areas of the body. Metastatic brain Tumours are also known as secondary brain Tumours.

Not all brain tumours are cancerous; benign brain tumours are non-cancerous tissue and are harmful only when they grow to a size which affects adjacent areas of the brain. Benign brain tumours tend to grow more slowly than malignant (cancerous) brain tumours.

 

Brain Tumour Warning Signs

Raising awareness of brain Tumours includes educating the public on the warning signs of brain Tumours. In approximately 30-40% of cases the first warning sign of a brain Tumour is a seizure.

Early Warning Signs include:

• Seizures
• Headaches
• Fatigue, tiredness and drowsiness
• Impaired speech
• Difficulties when swallowing
• In infants, an increase in head size
• Impaired vision
• Vomiting
• Poor body co-ordination
• Behavioural and mood changes
• Weakness in a limb or on one side of the body
• Difficulties with balance
• Tingling sensations and/or weakness in the arms or legs

 

Treating Brain Tumours

Because there are different types of brain tumours, treatment won’t be the same for everyone. The doctors will look at the type of brain tumour, its size and where it is in the brain before deciding on the best treatment.

Your child may need one or a combination of the following treatments:

 

Medicines Your Child May Need to Take

Your child may need to take medicines for a while to reduce or control the symptoms of the brain tumour:

  • Steroids: Steroids reduce swelling or inflammation in the brain and so they can help with symptoms.
  • Medicines that help prevent fits: These are known as anticonvulsants. They’re given if your child has had any fits (seizures).

 

Side Effects of Treatment for Brain Tumours

This depends on the treatment your child has and your child’s doctor and specialist nurse will explain more about what to expect. Always let them know about any side effects your child is having. Many side effects can be well controlled or made easier.

Some possible common side effects of Radiation Therapy and chemotherapy include:

• Hair loss
• Tiredness
• Feeling sick
• Increased risk of an infection
• Skin changes in the treated area if your child is having radiation therapy

 

Read more about Childhood Brain Cancer HERE

 

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 1 May, 2017, in Blog, Brain Cancer, Types of Cancer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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