Better Safe Than Tumour

From Headsmart to Better Safe Than Tumour…

  • Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer people under 40.
  • Six out of ten children who survive a brain tumour are left with a life-altering, long-term disability.

These shocking facts must change. That’s why the Lewis Moody Foundation was one of the first supporters of the HeadSmart campaign that was created to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children.

The Brain Tumour Charity has built on the foundation of their Headsmart campaign and created the Better Safe Than Tumour awareness campaign and we will continue to support this vital work.

Better Safe Than Tumour aims to raise awareness of common brain tumour signs and symptoms in adults and children, The Brain Tumour Charity are working hard to reach as many people as possible with the campaign.

Although Better safe Than Tumour was only launched in July 2022, The Brain Tumour Charity have already had an incredible impact and has increased symptom awareness by 21%.


Early Diagnosis Makes the Difference

Early diagnosis can save lives and prevents long-term disabilities.

HeadSmart helped raise national awareness of the common signs and symptoms of a brain tumour in children and young people by equipping parents, the public and healthcare professionals with information they need. This was achieved through the distribution of symptom cards and posters to raise awareness of symptoms, and the promotion of a clinical guideline and training module for health professionals.

The impact of our HeadSmart campaign

Before the launch of HeadSmart, average diagnosis times for children with brain tumours in the UK was 13 weeks.

After publication of the guidelines for healthcare professionals in 2011, this was reduced to 9.1 weeks.

Following the public launch this was reduced to 7.5 weeks in 2012, 6.9 weeks in 2013, and most recently 6.5 weeks. With the launch of our Better Safe Than Tumour campaign, we want to reduce diagnosis times to four weeks or less to be on a par with, or better than, the rest of the world.

Luke's Story

Mothers’ instinct told Fay that her son, Luke, wasn’t just suffering from a case of school jitters.

Luke, aged six, started suffering from headaches and mood swings and upong returning to school, he started being sick. After running some tests, their local GP suggested that Luke might be worried about school and advised Fay to return if it got worse. Then, one night – a week later – Luke woke up clutching his head, crying in pain and vomiting.

Fay trawled the internet for brain tumour symptoms, which is when she came across HeadSmart. “No one knows their child better than their mum and I knew Luke wasn’t a worrier,” says Fay. “HeadSmart empowered me with the information and confidence I needed to go back to the GP.”

Luke's Story

The GP then referred Luke for an MRI scan, which confirmed Fay’s worst fears. Luke was immediately taken by emergency ambulance to St George’s Hospital, where he underwent a seven-hour operation.

Surgeons were able to successfully remove the whole tumour and after spending three-and-half weeks in hospital, Luke has made a good recovery. He now needs regular scans until he is 25.

“We can’t thank HeadSmart enough,” continues Fay. “Without the campaign our son may not be here today. Early diagnosis not only saved his life but gave him quality of life, as he hasn’t suffered any severe disabilities. Now we’re backing the campaign to save other families our heartache.”