Brain

If you have recently been told you have or are suspected of having a cancerous brain tumour, you will have already met some of the people involved in your care. These health professionals work within a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). The members of the brain tumour MDT are experts at treating and managing cancer.  The services we provide within our MDT includes:

  • Diagnosis
  • Referral for surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Referral for consideration of entry into clinical trial
  • Palliative and supportive care from diagnosis as appropriate
  • Follow-up

Brain tumour care is delivered by our Brain MDT that meets weekly on Thursdays to discuss and plan individualised patient care and often includes involvement with our colleagues at Addenbrookes hospital, with whom we attend the weekly MDT meeting.

Surgery for Norfolk patients who have brain tumours is done in Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

Conditions Treated:

A brain tumour is a growth of cells in the brain that multiply in an abnormal, uncontrollable way. However, it is not always cancerous.

Brain tumours are graded from 1 to 4 according to their behaviour and cell type, such as how fast they grow and how likely they are to spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord.  It is very unlikely that a primary Brain tumour will spread to other parts of the body.

Benign brain tumours (non-cancerous)  

Generally, low-grade brain tumours – grade 1 or 2 – are slow growing and unlikely to spread. They are usually benign (non-cancerous), which means they tend to stay in one place and do not invade other areas of the brain or spread to other parts of the body.

Sometimes, they can be surgically removed and will not come back, causing no further problems. Some grade 2 tumours may grow back.

Malignant brain tumours (cancerous)

Malignant brain tumours can be either primary or secondary. Most common malignant brain tumours are spread to the brain from tumours outside the brain (secondary tumours) and treatment aims to prolong life and relieve the symptoms.

Primary malignant tumours, or high-grade brain tumours (grade 3 or 4) which start in the brain, are generally fast-growing. These must be treated as soon as possible to prevent them spreading to, and damaging, other parts of the brain and spinal cord.

Oncological treatment may consist of Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy or both.

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy are treatments administered within the Colney Centre by a dedicated Oncology team.

At the point of meeting your Oncology team, your treatment options, their benefits and side effects will be explained to you.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions and your wellbeing and best interests are paramount.

Staff

Oncology Consultant

Dr Pinelopi Gkogkou

Dr Andrew Ho

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Hannah Hendry

If you wish to contact your Clinical Nurse Specialist, please call 01603 286171.

Patient Support Services

Most patients will meet a Cancer Nurse Specialist (CNS) on their first attendance to the Oncology clinic and will maintain contact with them throughout their treatment. The Nurse will act as the patient’s advocate, is on hand during difficult times and will facilitate discharge or transfer out to other care facilities.

Within the Brain service, the CNS will support the patient during Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy and is the first point of contact for any questions or concerns.

The CNS also works to ensure that a holistic patient assessment is carried out and that needs are met; for example, financial and emotional support for you and your carers.

Norfolk Brain Tumour Support Group

Meets the first Wednesday of every month, 1.30-3.30pm.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a brain tumour, you are invited to share your experiences and journey in this confidential, supportive environment.

Venue: Big C Cancer Support Information Centre, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.

Tel 01603 286112

Useful Information

Cancer Registration: Why it matters and what you need to know.