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Every day, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour
It is estimated that 55,000 Canadians are surviving with a brain tumour
There are over 120 different types of brain tumours, making effective treatment very complicated.
Primary brain tumours (originating in the brain) occur in 8 out of 100,000 people. This number rises to approximately 32 per 100,000 when metastatic tumours (cancer originating in other areas of the body that has spread to the brain) are included.
In the first year after diagnosis it is estimated the average patient will make 52 visits to their health care team (could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, blood work etc.)
A brain tumour is a growth of abnormal cells that are either within or around the structure of the brain.
The most common type of primary malignant brain tumour is glioblastoma multiforme. Average survival, even with aggressive treatment, is less than one year.
Metastatic brain tumours occur at some point in 20-40% of people with cancer. The incidence of metastatic brain tumours is increasing as cancer patients live longer.
Brain tumours are the leading cause of solid cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They are the third leading cause of solid cancer death in young adults ages 20-39.
Because brain tumours are located at the control centre for thought, emotion, and movement, they can dramatically affect an individual's physical and cognitive abilities and quality of life.
Brain tumours in children are different from those in adults and are often treated differently. Although as many as 60% of children with brain tumours will survive, they are often left with long-term side effects.
Enhancing the quality of life for people with brain tumours requires access to quality specialty care, clinical trials, follow-up care and rehabilitative services.
Currently, the Canadian medical system does not track statistics on primary brain tumours. Complete and accurate data is needed to facilitate the research that will lead to a better understanding of this disease and improved diagnosis and treatment.
Health Information Specialist
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