Thorpe St Andrew parents who lost daughter to undiagnosed tumour praise advancements in early detection

Colin and Joyce Bell, front, with patients and carers at a meeting of the Norfolk Brain Tumour Suppo

Colin and Joyce Bell, front, with patients and carers at a meeting of the Norfolk Brain Tumour Support Group. Colin and Joyce are happy that research is underway to look into a range of symptoms which could help to improve early detection of brain tumours, after their daughter Jennifer died from an undiagnosed brain tumour. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

It was in 2006 that Joyce and Colin Bell lost their daughter, Jennifer, to an undiagnosed brain tumour.

Norwich Brain Tumour Support Group. Jennifer Bell.Photo by Simon Finlay.

Norwich Brain Tumour Support Group. Jennifer Bell.Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The 22-year-old had suffered for almost a year with severe headaches and nausea, but was told by doctors it was stress related.

After being referred for an MRI scan 11 months after her symptoms began, she collapsed and died while still on the waiting list.

Ever since her death that July, her parents have campaigned for better awareness of the condition.

And now, a decade on, they are praising significant advancements in the early detection of brain tumours in adults.

In November, the Brain Tumour Charity provided more than £90,000 in funding for the Brain Tumour Early Detection study to be carried out by Cambridge University.

It aims to establish a range of symptoms that will help to indicate when urgent investigation is required. The information will then be made available to health professionals and the public.

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And today, parliament's petitions committee is to also investigate funding into brain tumour research after an online petition gained more than 120,000 signatures on the subject.

Other initiatives include the Head Smart campaign, which provides cards and online information listing the symptoms of a brain tumour.

Mrs Bell, 62, of Harvey Close, Thorpe St Andrew, said: 'At least five of the things on these symptom cards we had reported to the GP [about Jennifer]. The card states that just two means the person needs to be referred as urgent. We have been told GPs very rarely see a brain tumour in their careers, if at all. If you are aware of what to look out for, you will know when you should go back and ask for more to be done. It is great that they are now looking into providing a way to give people a better chance of recognising when things need to be looked into further.'

For more information on the symptoms of a brain tumour, visit: www.headsmart.org.uk

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