The UK lags behind other countries in the time taken to diagnose a childhood brain tumour. The Headsmart campaign, a partnership between The Brain Tumour Charity, The Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, aims to change this by empowering parents, teenagers and healthcare professionals to recognise the signs and symptoms. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and teenagers in the UK.
HeadSmart is an evidence based campaign and has a number of on and offline resources including a website, symptoms cards and posters. National Lottery funding has helped to reduce the average diagnosis time from 13 weeks to 6.5 weeks, saving lives and reducing the chance of long-term disability.
Claire Lloyd discovered HeadSmart after searching one of the symptoms online. It encouraged her and her husband to take their 9 year old son Jack to their GP. Jack was unfortunately diagnosed with a rare tumour and underwent several operations to remove the tumour. Claire says: "We are so thankful that we found HeadSmart that day. Having that information was vital in getting Jack the care he needed quickly. It played a huge part in saving his life."
Hayley Epps, the campaign manager for HeadSmart says: "HeadSmart has two aims: to save lives and reduce long-term disability by bringing down diagnosis times - we have made real progress halving the time it takes on average to diagnose children with a brain tumour across the UK."
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