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Make sure people with brain tumours ‘don’t fall through cracks’


March 28, 2024 - 330 views

An MS has called for the Welsh Government to ensure that people who have brain tumours “don’t fall through the cracks”.

Llŷr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, has echoed warnings from campaigners that more needs to be done to remove barriers that exist in the health service.

Mr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru, recently met with representatives from The Brain Tumour Charity at Tŷ Hywel to show his support for Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

The Brain Tumour Charity says that the gaps in the health service can only be tackled through systematic change and developing a comprehensive National Brain Tumour Strategy.

People who have brain tumour can face a number of issues, including multiple misdiagnoses and trips to GPs, to undergoing harsh treatments or not having access to the support from an allocated Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

According to The Brain Tumour Charity, brain tumours often fall into the ‘too difficult’ pile due to the nature of the disease.

There are more than 120 different types of brain and central nervous system tumours, which can be high grade, or low grade (non-malignant). As a result the disease does not sit neatly in the cancer nor the rare disease world.

The charity also says that brain cancers are often missed by NHS cancer programmes because of the differences in how they start, develop and are tracked, compared to other cancers.

Llŷr Gruffydd MS said: “It is vital that the Welsh Government as well as governments across the UK make sure that people who have brain tumours don’t fall through the cracks in the health care system.

“There needs to be a well-thought-out strategy in place to bring this about that takes into account all of the complexities and puts the needs of patients front and centre.

“As with any disease, the faster it can be caught the more likely it is for patients to have a positive outcome.

“That’s why it is important to tackle the barriers patients can face when trying go get a diagnosis, and access care and treatment.

“Ensuring that patients are able to get a faster diagnosis can open up more options for patients and their families to receive sufficient support.

“It can also can widen the scope of research participation options, reduce the severity of symptoms, as well as help patients to better withstand harsh treatments and reduce the need for emergency, higher risk surgery.”