Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations

Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations

September 28, 2009 14:46 ET

October is Brain Tumour Awareness Month

Attention: Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor BRAIN TUMOUR AWARENESS MONTH, CANADA,MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2009) - Brain tumours are more common than most people think. In Canada, it is estimated that 55,000 are affected by a brain tumour and 10,000 more will be diagnosed this year. For individuals and families living with a brain tumour, Brain Tumour Awareness Month is an opportunity to create awareness, garner support and share information about this devastating disease.

This month, member organizations of the Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations (CABTO), support groups, cancer centres, hospitals and professional groups are talking about brain tumours and hosting events to raise awareness throughout the month of October. Included in these activities are:

* Showcasing the Hats Tribute: A travelling display of hats and stories of courage, the Hats Tribute allows people to learn about the journey with a brain tumour from patients and survivors themselves. The Hats will be showcased in Halifax, NS; London, ON; Saskatoon, SK; Calgary, AB.
* Patient and Professional Information Conferences: CABTO members and many other affiliated groups are hosting a variety of information conferences during October.
* Open houses: Many treatment centres offer open houses to increase community awareness of their important work.
* Harnessing social media: Electronic badges and messages for social networking sites are available to help spread the word.
* Signs and Symptoms: Sharing the signs and symptoms of brain tumours is key to raising awareness about this devastating disease.

We encourage members of the public to visit our website, www.cabto.ca to learn more about how they can participate in any of these opportunities or events.

Facts about Brain Tumours
What is a brain tumour? A brain tumour is a growth of abnormal cells within or around the structure of the brain.

Who is at risk for developing a brain tumour? Brain tumours strike people of all ages and genders. Brain tumours are the leading cause of solid cancer death for children and young adults up to age 20, and one of the fastest growing causes of cancer death in the elderly.

Why is Brain Tumour Awareness Month so important? At present, there is no cure for brain tumours. Greater awareness of this disease will support priority funding for research leading to a cure and better access to resources for those whose lives are affected by this terrible disease.

Why do brain tumours have such a significant impact on our lives? Brain tumours are located in the control centre for thought, emotion, and movement and can lead to the impairment of an individual's intellectual and physical abilities.

Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Tumour
Until a cure is discovered, early diagnosis and treatment provides the best chance for survival from a brain tumour. It is important to recognize the following most common signs and symptoms associated with brain tumors:

* Visual disturbance
* Morning nausea and vomiting
* Weakness or paralysis
* Dizziness or unsteadiness
* Personality changes
* Frequent Headaches
* Hearing Impairment
* Seizures

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician.

Ground Breaking Advocacy Efforts:
Over the past several years, CABTO has played a key role in advocating for Private Member's Motion M-235 which called for uniform, national standards and guidelines for the surveillance of both malignant and benign brain tumours. Bill M-235 was passed by an over-whelming majority in the House of Commons on February 14, 2007. CABTO members continue to play an active role as the motion makes its way through the implementation process.

About the Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations
CABTO is an alliance of volunteer organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of brain tumour patients and their families. Formed in 1999, our mandate is to advocate for better patient care and increased funding for research. Member organizations believe that by working together, we can accomplish these goals more effectively than by working alone. Member organizations are:

* Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canada - www.anac.ca
* B.C. Cancer Agency, Vancouver, B.C. - www.bccancer.bc.ca
* B.R.A.I.N.CHILD (Maritimes)
* B.R.A.I.N.CHILD (Toronto) - www.sickkids.on.ca/brainchild
* Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada - www.braintumour.ca
* Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses - www.cann.ca
* Canadian Von Hippel-Lindau(VHL) Family Alliance - www.vhlcanada.ca
* Crolla Family Brain Tumour Research Centre, Toronto, ON
* Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Trust, Toronto, ON - www.pencerbraintrust.com
* Montreal Neurological Hospital, Centre for Treatment and Study of Brain Tumours, Montreal, QC - www.mni.mcgill.ca
* North American Brain Tumor Coalition - www.nabraintumor.org
* QEII Health Sciences Centre Brain Tumour Program, Halifax, N.S. - www.cdha.nshealth.ca

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Contacts:

Femma Norton, Chairperson
Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations
femma@sympatico.ca * 905-355-5119
www.cabto.ca

Susan Marshall, Executive Director
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
smarshall@braintumour.ca * 1-800-265-5106, x222
www.braintumour.ca
/For further information: www.cabto.ca/ IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Femma Norton, Chairperson, Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumour Organizations
    Primary Phone: 905-355-5119
    E-mail: femma@sympatico.ca