Lichfield’s MP is backing a campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of brain tumours in children.
Michael Fabricant was one of a number of MPs who were briefed on the situation in the House of Commons.
“I had the chance to meet Lauren Pearson from Yoxall who suffered for some years from an undiagnosed brain tumour, her sister Jessica and their father,” he said.
“It was fascinating to chat to them all, but the lack of early diagnosis made me feel very angry.
“The Charity showed me the resources they have developed, including symptoms cards and an innovative smartphone app to help people recognise the symptoms of a brain tumour.
“Around 500 children and young people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year – nearly ten a week. Early diagnosis is absolutely crucial.
“Symptoms of a brain tumour can present in children in such a way that they are frequently mistaken for less serious conditions such as viral infection, fatigue, migraine, depression, or even hay fever.”
Lauren’s story is not unique, as The Brain Tumour Charity’s Neil Dickson explained.
“It took nine months for my daughter Samantha to be diagnosed with a brain tumour,” he said. “Having received many calls from parents who experienced similar delays, my wife Angela and I strongly believed that more had to be done to reduce the time taken for a diagnosis.
“That is why The Brain Tumour Charity started the HeadSmart campaign together with our partner organisations, who are all leaders in this field.
“Tragically, this comes too late for Samantha, but by increasing the awareness of symptoms among parents and healthcare professionals, it doesn’t need to be too late for others.”
For more information about the symptoms of brain tumours in young people or the HeadSmart Campaign visit www.headsmart.org.uk or you can text SMART to 81400 for a free mobile app guide to brain tumour symptoms.