“A huge thank you to all of you. You are doing an amazing job and your assessment helped me a lot to get a clearer idea of how to support and encourage my daughter better.” – Parent Feedback.
• Brain tumours are the most common cause of cancer deaths in children under 15.
• Approximately 10 children and young people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each week.
• 1500 children are diagnosed annually with cancer and a third of these will have a Central Nervous System (CNS) tumour. 95-98% of these will be brain tumours.
• 62% of children who survive a brain tumour are left with a life-altering, long-term disability.
• Children treated for brain tumours have the greatest need for rehabilitation of all children treated for cancer.
Psychological support for both the child who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and their family is crucial and we believe it is required and essential from the point of diagnosis. A child with a brain tumour is a brain injured child. The devastating effects can include blindness, loss of hearing, acute anxiety, as well as varying degrees of physical and learning difficulties.
Our Paediatric Oncology Clinical Psychologists are the key part of the multi-disciplinary team and are able to offer support at all stages of a child’s journey. They are trained in child development and learning and specialise in a range of therapeutic approaches to meet the needs of both the child and their family, they look at the whole child as an individual. For a family who have lost a child, a Clinical Psychologist can offer bereavement follow up for both the parents and siblings.
After treatment Children can be left with cognitive difficulties; sometimes these can be subtle and missed by the school, other times they can be marked and seriously impact on life. Physical, emotional and cognitive rehabilitation is so important and a specialised team is often required to undertake this. As a member of this team, our Clinical Psychologists can uniquely offer neuropsychological testing to help both a school and parent understand their child’s difficulties in thinking, remembering and processing. They can work with schools to ensure that the environment is suitable and the child is supported to enable he/she to reach their full potential and promote normal developmental progression.
“All children with a brain tumour should be offered neuropsychological testing upon diagnosis and follow up by a clinical psychologist.”
Every child has the right to return to a normal life and fulfil their potential, Clinical Psychology is the key to allowing this.
We are the only UK Charity providing Clinical Psychology for children with cancer
Dr Angela Kirby – Clinical Psychologist, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge