At least one in three people know someone who is affected by a brain tumour and the impact of this type of illness can be devastating to an individual and to families. While great strides have been made over the years to help those with brain tumours, there is still a long way to go. Brain Tumour Awareness Month is here to offer encouragement and support to these patients and their loved ones.
History of Brain Tumour Awareness Month
Brain Tumour Awareness Month was started in 2004 when a group of charities joined together in what would become the founding members of the Brain Tumour Research charitable organization. The collaboration of this group and also the Brain Tumor Awareness Month events are all organized with the purpose of finding a cure for this life-changing illness as well as working toward the possibility of prevention.
Sometimes also called Brain Cancer Awareness Month, the event is celebrated in March in the UK. In some places, on the last day of the month, one of the activities that shows support is Wear a Hat Day, which works to raise financial support with the goal of collectively finding a cure. The idea is also to encourage government and cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research.
In the United States and Canada, Brain Tumor Awareness Month is celebrated in the month of May. Here, it can also be referred to as “Gray May” because of the idea that the entire month is dedicated to supporting healthy gray matter.
Brain Tumour Awareness Month offers all sorts of creative opportunities for individuals, families, schools, medical facilities and other supportive organizations to show support and care for those whose lives are affected by brain tumours. And, in addition, the hope is to raise finances that can help fund research which will eventually lead to a cure!
How to Observe Brain Tumour Awareness Month
Show support for Brain Tumour Awareness Month with a wide range of ideas and plans, including some of these activities:
Shine a Light
In the UK, March 1 brings an opportunity to hold a short vigil by lighting a candle in honor of Brain Tumour Awareness Month. This typically takes place on the first day of the month at 7:30pm UK time, and some people want to share photos of these candles on social media in honor of a loved one affected by a brain tumour.
Learn Some Facts About Brain Tumors
Many people don’t realize how prolific brain tumours can be. In honor of Brain Tumour Awareness Month, consider some of these statistics:
It is estimated that more than 300,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with brain tumours.
Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children as well as adults under 40.
Sadly, only 12% of brain tumour patients survive beyond the five year mark, compared to 70% with breast cancer or 50% with leukemia.
Less than 3% of the money spent on cancer research in the UK goes to researching a cure for brain tumours.