I was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma, a rare, malignant brain tumor that arises from astrocytes, the supportive cells in the nervous system. Brain and central nervous system cancers are rare, affecting about 5-6 out of 100,000 people, of which astrocytomas make up a relatively small percentage. I recently had surgery at MGH where they were able to remove over 90% of the tumor, but I still have a long road of radiation and chemotherapy ahead of me to halt the tumour's progression and hopefully cause it to shrink further. The shocking news was that while standard care can achieve these goals, there is currently no way to completely eradicate the disease, and brain tumors most often come back. Despite this, I am going to fight and hope that there won't be an additional tumor to be concerned about in the future. That said, it is so important to find a cure for all brain tumors as soon as possible.
According to the NIH, advances in the field of neuro-oncology (the study of tumors of the brain and spinal cord) have lagged behind those of more common tumors such as breast and prostate cancer. For this reason, treatment options are sometimes limited. Additionally, there are fewer physicians with specialized training in this area, sometimes making it difficult for patients to get expert opinions regarding treatment of their disease. Given the low prevalence and profile of this disease, there is a need for more awareness and funding to help all those in this fight together. I am hoping to continue helping by participating in the National Brain Tumor Society's Annual Boston Brain Tumor Ride on Sunday, May 17th, 2020. Over the last 25 years the Boston Brain Tumor Ride has raised over $18 Million towards brain tumor research and advocacy. All proceeds raised allow National Brain Tumor Society to advance research and public policy, which aim to improve the availability of new and better treatments and fuel the discovery of a cure for brain tumors.
I am uniting with others to make a difference in the fight against brain tumors. I am passionate about this cause, so I’m taking action. I need your help in this fight. National Brain Tumor Society will not rest until a cure exists - but more needs to be done. Please join in my effort!
National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They are aggressively driving strategic research; advocating for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community; and providing comprehensive patient, family and caregiver resources. Your support ensures this important work will continue.