Tumour woman's anger over care shortfall

A BRAIN tumour victim has today hit out at a statistical lapse which has left her without vital support.

A BRAIN tumour victim has today hit out at a statistical lapse which has left her without vital support.

Single mum-of-three Angela Gregg, of Elmsett, was diagnosed in February with a meningioma brain tumour which is not cancerous but can not be removed and causes sight problems and numbness.

The 42-year-old needs radiotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge to stop the tumour growing, yet because it is benign she is not counted in the official statistics of those suffering from brain tumours.

The oversight means she does not get extra emotional or financial support, and also skews the data of how many people need care in Suffolk.

Charity Brain Tumour UK said 3,835 people affected by brain tumours each year in the East of England are missing from official data, resulting in a funding gap.

Ms Gregg, a self employed childminder, said: “I was really surprised when I heard about the statistics. It means people with brain tumours that aren't cancerous or life-threatening aren't properly accounted for.

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“If the numbers were more accurate and showed there were more people affected, Ipswich Hospital might have got funding for the treatment and I wouldn't need to travel to Cambridge.

“Financially it will cost me �150 a week to travel to Cambridge and back and I have not been offered any support.

“I also have to call upon neighbours and friends to help logistically with my three children and their care. I understand I am being given the best possible care for myself, but I feel I am not getting any help with childcare, aftercare support or financial support."

Ms Gregg said she expected to start daily radiotherapy sessions after Easter for six weeks and would then need regular MRI scans.

Jenny Baker, chief executive of Brain Tumour UK, said: “Brain tumours, by virtue of their dangerous location, can impact on every characteristic that defines us as human beings.

“It is scandalous that thousands of people, many of them suffering very substantial cognitive and physical impairments as a result of their tumour, are largely overlooked because health services have not recognised their existence and complex needs.”

Have you been affected by a brain tumour? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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