Tom Parker, of the band Wanted, has expressed his surprise at the NHS’s treatment and support for those with brain cancer.
Since his diagnosis a year ago, Tom, 33, has been raising awareness for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In addition to NHS care, he has been receiving private treatment. He claimed in a recent podcast that the NHS treatment for brain tumours needs to improve ‘massively’ and that a lack of research money is part of the problem.
GBM is the most frequent and one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour. There is no cure, and it often resists therapy, with an average survival duration of 12 to 18 months after diagnosis. Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, steroids, and medications to assist in relieving symptoms are all available on the NHS for people with brain cancer.
He made his remarks on the podcast Chat2Amani, which is hosted by Amani Liaquat, a 23-year-old GBM patient. Amani’s tumour did not respond to NHS therapies, but she has noticed some modest signs of shrinking after her family funded £100,000 to purchase a year’s supply of an experimental medicine from Germany.
According to the charity Brain Tumour Research, the conventional treatment for GBM sufferers is a chemotherapy medicine called Temozolomide, which hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years.
She expressed her disappointment when she learned that her tumour had grown despite radiotherapy: the doctor said, “Sorry to inform you that it has progressed.” So we were like, ‘OK, what do we do now?’ “
The amount of money spent on brain cancer research in the United Kingdom has climbed from £4 million in 2009-10 to £15 million in 2019-20. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, according to the report.
Tom stated that speaking up about his own cancer experience will assist in improving funds for treatment and research, which is “the one thing” he hopes to do.
Last month, he joined the rest of the Wanted for a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall to raise money for cancer organisations. It had been seven years since the boy band had played together.