Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

One of the secondary characters in A Soul Less Broken suffers from a brain tumor. In my own life I was saddened by the passing of a friend & coworker who lost his battle with brain cancer in 2006. He was only in his early forties when he passed away. What amazed me in doing research for the book was how common this condition actually is. Here is some information that you may find surprising:

  • Currently there are over 600,000 people in the US living with a primary brain tumor.
  • Each year approximately 210,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. That is over 575 people a day. (Primary is a tumor originating in the brain only, metastatic is cancer that spreads from other parts of the body to the brain).
  • Metastatic brain tumors are six-times more common than primary tumors.
  • There are over 120 different types of brain tumors, making effective treatment very complicated.
  • The most common symptoms of a brain tumor can include: headaches (that wake you up in the morning), seizures without a history of seizures, cognitive or personality changes, eye weakness, nausea or vomiting, speech disturbances and memory loss. What makes diagnosis challenging is that these symptoms are common in many other medical conditions beside brain tumors.

 Some Famous Brain Tumor Patients You May Recognize:

• Bob Marley (metastatic)

• Lance Armstrong (metastatic)

• Lou Rawls (metastatic)

• George Gerwin (primary)

• Frank Edward “Tug” McGraw (primary)

• Ted Kennedy (primary)

Much of the data listed above is available at the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), a non-profit organization, bringing together the best of research and patient services to be a comprehensive resource for patients, families, caregivers, researchers, and medical professionals. NBTS offers top-notch resources and caring support for everyone affected by brain tumors. They provide education & information to help patients, families, and caregivers make informed decisions and develop strong support systems during every stage of the journey. 
If you would like to learn more or to make a donation, click here.


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