Brain tumour survivor Emily Jones backs calls for more research funding

thisisoxfordshire: Emily Jones Emily Jones

AN OXFORD student who suffered a malignant brain tumour aged 24 has backed calls for more research funding.

Exeter College PhD student Emily Jones, now 26, backed calls made by charity Brain Tumour Research.

After suffering headaches, dizziness and early morning vomiting since spring 2011, the tumour was removed at the John Radcliffe Hospital in July 2012.

Miss Jones, who has been given the all-clear after radiotherapy, said: “My diagnosis was a tragedy and the woeful underfunding for research makes it a tragedy on top of a tragedy.”

The Magdalen Road, East Oxford, resident said a 19 per cent survival rate in the past five years is a “bitter pill” for families as the rate is 50 per cent for other cancers.

She said: “We desperately need to massively increase the funding available for research into this cruel disease if we are to ultimately find a cure.”

She was among campaigners who visited the House of Commons this month to present a report by the charity to the Government.

It says one in 50 who die under 60 have brain cancer and 71 per cent are under 75, compared to 47 per cent for other cancers.

Most funding – 55 per cent – goes to breast, leukaemia, bowel and prostate cancer research, which make up 29 per cent of diagnosis.

About one per cent of cancer diagnosis and three per cent of deaths involves brain tumours and it gets one per cent of research funding.

Better understanding the “behaviours” of tumours is vital, it said.

Miss Jones, 26, who is from Chester, returned to her history PhD in January last year after six months off.

She said: “What I find personally quite difficult is that nobody knows why perfectly healthy young people get brain tumours. Nobody knows why you get them and the prognosis is pretty terrible.”

She was first diagnosed with vertigo by her GP in November 2011 and treated with tablets. She was diagnosed with the tumour through private care at the John Radcliffe Hospital in July 2012 and treated six days later on the NHS.

Brain Tumour Research chief executive Sue Farrington Smith said: “We know funding into brain tumours needs to increase to around £30m to £35m a year over a 10-year time frame.

“At the current rate of spend, it could take 100 years to find a cure.

The charity also wants a public register of research to tackle duplication of studies.

Dr Tony Peatfield, spokesman for the Medical Research Council (MRC), which makes funding decisions, said: “We currently spend £2.4m a year specifically on brain tumour research through the National Cancer Research Institute, and would welcome research applications that would increase this figure.”

  • Don’t miss veteran cancer campaigner Clive Stone’s column in the Oxford Mail on Tuesday.

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