Senator Catryna Bilyk raising awareness on brain tumours as part of International Brain Tumour Awareness Week

Senator Catryna Bilyk is raising awareness about brain tumours to coincide with this year’s International Brain Tumour Awareness Week (IBTAW).

As a survivor of brain tumours, Senator Catryna Bilyk is passionate about raising awareness about brain tumours and the impact they have on the people living with them.

In moving a motion in the Senate this week, Senator Bilyk highlighted that:
“In Australia brain tumours are the highest cause of disease-related deaths in children aged 10-14 years, and the highest cause of cancer-related death in females aged under 40 and males aged under 44.”

Between 1982 and 2007, brain tumour mortality trends showed little change despite some improvements in imaging, diagnostics and treatment options.

“During the period 2006-2010, people with a brain tumour had just a 22 percent chance of surviving for at least five years. While the numbers may seem small, the impact brain tumours have on both the physical and mental health of sufferers is significant,” said Senator Bilyk.

Brain tumours can cause many symptoms including headaches, dizziness, speech impairment, memory problems and personality changes.

“The cause of most primary brain tumours is unknown,” said Senator Bilyk

It is important that people monitor their health and seek medical advice if they are experiencing symptoms that may indicate the presence of a brain tumour. This allows for doctors to conduct tests to determine the cause and to take action if necessary.

“If diagnosed with a brain tumour, the sooner treatment begins, the better the chances for making a full recovery,” said Senator Bilyk.

More information on brain tumours can be obtained from the following organisations:

Brain Tumour Alliance Australia
www.btaa.org.au; or by phoning 1800 857 221

The Cancer Council
www.cancer.org.au; or 13 11 20

The International Brain Tumour Alliance
www.theibta.org.au

Source: advice received from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Sept 2012.
Senator Catryna Bilyk Labor Senator for Tasmania