Of all of the constituents I have met in the past decade few have made such an impression as Andrew Scarborough. Andrew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at the age of 27. While his tumour was impossible to fully remove Andrew is managing his condition and will hopefully be taking part in a promising ketogenic clinical trial being run at Charing Cross Hospital later this year.
Andrew’s story is inspirational but his illness is not unique. Brain tumours are far more common than one might imagine. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer – 5,000 a year in total. In spite of this brain cancer research receives far less funding than some of the more well-known cancers. Just one percent of the total amount spent on cancer research in the UK is allocated to this devastating disease.
Thankfully the knowledge of brain tumours has got much better over the last decade despite the inadequate funding and this in large part due to the hard work of charities like Brain Tumour Research and Brain Tumour Support. They are to be commended.
Andrew is living proof that a brain tumour diagnosis need not spell the end of life’s opportunities. He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the issues that affect those living with brain cancer and is currently working towards a degree in Human and Medical Sciences in order to study cancer and bring this awful disease to the forefront of research. I wish him every luck with his degree and future career.
Andrew’s experience should be the norm rather than the exception. Together, we can raise awareness and get more funding for brain tumour research. This March let’s do what we can to take part in Brain Tumour Awareness Month. It will be an opportunity to make people more aware of the problems faced by people living with brain cancer and what science can do to support people like Andrew. For information on how you can get involved take a look at Brain Tumour Research’s ‘A to Z’ of events and opportunities.