Brain tumours comprise over one quarter of all childhood cancers in the UK and are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in children. The presentation of brain tumours can vary substantially in children. The presenting symptoms are often similar to less serious conditions, and are often managed as such initially. Therefore, it can be difficult to diagnose brain tumours in children. An early diagnosis is usually associated with more effective treatment and improved health outcomes. The diagnostic interval between first presentation to a health professional and diagnosis for brain tumours in children has been shown to be three times longer in the UK than in other developed countries. As a result, the HeadSmart campaign launched a symptom card in 2011 to increase awareness of brain tumours in children among the general population and healthcare professionals, with the aim of reducing the diagnostic interval to 5 weeks. Nurses have an essential role in early recognition of brain tumours in children, and in providing care and support to the child and their family following a diagnosis.
Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10417Correspondence
All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Received: 18 January 2016
Accepted: 11 March 2016
Published online: 18 August 2016
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