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Richard's story

Richard was diagnosed with an astrocytoma in 2017
Richard, pictured here with wife Sue, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2017

Richard was diagnosed with a grade 2 'diffuse' astrocytoma in 2017, at the age of 35. Following treatment, his tumour has stopped growing and his condition is stable. But the expectation is that it will start growing again.

In February 2017, Richard admitted himself to hospital, feeling unwell. As he slept, his wife Sue received the devastating news that Richard had an inoperable brain tumour, a grade 2 astrocytoma, also known as a 'diffuse' astrocytoma.

Richard underwent a painful biopsy of the tumour, which involved removing part of his skull. This was followed by six weeks of radiotherapy, and then a year of chemotherapy. This treatment has stopped the tumour growing, and Richard's condition is stable. But the tumour is still there, and the expectation is that it will start growing again. No one knows when, it's watch and wait.

Richard continues to live the fullest life that he can. He is affected by fatigue and has problems with word recollection. He knows that there will be difficult times ahead and that if the tumour starts to grow again, there will be further treatment. He doesn't plan long-term anymore, he focuses everything on what is happening over the next few months.

Incredibly, since his diagnosis, Richard has run the London Marathon, swum the Serpentine and completed a 100 mile cycle ride to raise funds for vital research into brain tumours.

"I support Brain Research UK because, whilst there is no cure for me, research can help someone else in the future - and I want to be part of that."

Our research in brain tumours

Over 12,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour every year in the UK. And more people under 40 die from brain tumours than from any other cancer.

With more than 130 different types of brain tumour, which may all present with different types of symptoms, they are difficult to diagnose and exceptionally difficult to treat.

Yet research into brain tumours is underfunded relative to research into many other cancers. This is reflected in the lack of progress in treating these tumours and the continued poor prognosis for patients.

This is why we are focusing our research funding on brain tumours as one of our three priority research areas. We want to improve the outlook for people with brain tumours by funding research that takes forward our understanding of the mechanisms underlying tumour development, and helps develop better ways to diagnose and treat these tumours.

Read more: About brain tumours | Our research in brain tumours

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