TOUGH ROAD: Jackson Byrnes of Casino has died after battling a brain tumour. Photo Contributed
TOUGH ROAD: Jackson Byrnes of Casino has died after battling a brain tumour. Photo Contributed Contributed

More research and funding needed to study brain tumours

NOT enough is known about what causes life threatening brain tumours like the one that took the life of Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes.

Without funding for further research, little more can be done to treat the tumours than high risk surgery with follow up radiation and chemotherapy.

Brain Foundation CEO Gerald Edmunds said more research needs to be done on brain tumours and cancer to better understand the early warning signs and causes and help development treatments.

"The poor old brain research area is poorly funded by government and we rely heavily on the community to drum-up a lot of the money," he said.

"We don't know enough about it."

Mr Edmunds said some early warning signs of brain tumours, like headaches, can be difficult to diagnose because they vary so much from person to person and in most cases are caused by a number of other factors such as simple dehydration, stress or being tired.

He said the research field also lacked a cohesive database of patient cases and tissue samples for scientists to study.

The aim of the Brain Foundation charity is to raise funds for research into advanced diagnoses, treatment and patient outcomes of neurological disorders, brain disease and brain injuries.

Figures from their website show almost 1,400 new cases of malignant brain tumours are recorded each year in Australia, with many more benign tumours.

Combined, both malignant and benign tumours kill more than 1,200 people annually.

It's also one of the few cancers which occurs in children, with 115 new cases per year.

For more information go to www.brainfoundation.org.au



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