1. ITV Report

Calls for more investment in brain cancer research

The image of a brain under a scan Photo: PA

Which cancer is most likely to kill you if you're under 40 years old? It's not prostate, breast or bowel - it's cancer of the brain. It's also the cancer most likely to kill a child.

If that's news to you, then you are not alone. Awareness and understanding about Brain Tumours among the public is low - yet most people probably know someone who's had the cancer.

The latest figures show over 600 of us in Wales were diagnosed with a brain tumour. Its one of the highest rates in Europe. They come in four grades - the fourth being the most severe with average life expectancy for a patient being 15 months.

Little is known about the causes and development and little money is put into research to fund out. According to the Brain Tumour Charity of the £500 million raised to research all cancers, less than 2% of it goes on Brain cancer.

  • Brain Tumours can reduce life expectancy by 20 years - the highest of any cancer
  • Only 14% of adults survive for five years after diagnosis
  • Almost 5,000 people in the UK die because of brain tumour every year

Jamie Pugh knows all to well about brain tumours. You may recognise him from Britain's Got Talent. The cancer killed his brother as a child and later it claimed his wife.

Jamie's wife died in 1999 and since then things haven't got any better, if anything they've got worse. Rates are up since the early 1990s.

If you're diagnosed with a brain tumour in South, West or Mid Wales you're likely to come to the University Hospital of Wales. Brain surgeon Caroline Hayhurst, who works in the neurology unit there says because so little is known, more research funding is needed.

An information awareness day will be held in Cardiff today so those with a brain tumour and their families can meet and learn about the condition. They'll be hoping for an improvement in the condition in the years to come.