Wild Youth’s Conor O’Donohoe Special Guest at forthcoming Brain Tumour Ireland Webinar

by Alex Greaney
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Alex Greaney 

Wild Youth band member, Conor O’Donohoe, is the special guest at a forthcoming public webinar ‘Brain Wise: Living Well with a Brain Tumour’ being organised by Brain Tumour Ireland, the national charity supporting people with a brain tumour and their families, to coincide with International Brain Tumour Awareness Week (this Saturday October 28 to November 4). 

Conor sadly lost his mum, Jackie, to a brain tumour in 2011. Then just 17 years’ old, Conor will speak about how he navigated that time, how that event spurred him to live his very best life, and how his mum continues to inspire him.  

The webinar, which takes place on Tuesday October 31st at 6.30pm, will also see presentations from a dietitian on eating well following treatment for a brain tumour, and jointly from a senior social worker and occupational therapist on navigating relationships at a time of great emotional trauma. 

Registration for the webinar, which is free, is now open at www.braintumourireland.com

In addition, on Wednesday November 1st at 6.30pm, Brain Tumour Ireland will co-host a Brain Tumour Research Update event in collaboration with the Precision Cancer Medicine Group at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). RCSI researchers, led by Prof. Annette Byrne, will discuss ongoing work to identify treatments for glioblastoma, including new ways to deliver drugs targeted directly at tumours. The event will be held in person at the RCSI, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. 

A new online support group for parents is also being launched as part of the week, to complement the existing online patient and family support groups. Full information on all the events taking place as part of International Brain Tumour Awareness Week can be found at www.braintumourireland.com 

True or False: Top 5 Things to Know About Brain Tumours 

    Brain tumours are all the same. False.  

It is estimated that there over 150 types of brain tumour, with a glioblastoma brain tumour being the most common. According to the Mayo Clinic, depending on the part of the brain in which the tumour occurs, different symptoms can arise. The frontal lobes control thinking and movement and tumours here can cause personality changes, balance problems or trouble walking. The parietal lobe in the upper middle part of the brain processes information about the senses and tumours there can cause vision and hearing problems. The occipital lobe in the back of the brain controls vision and a tumour here can cause sight loss. The temporal lobes on the sides of the brain process speech, memory and senses, and tumours there can cause speech difficulties, memory problems, and altered senses. 

    Not all brain tumours are cancerous. True.  

Brain tumours can be malignant or benign. A malignant tumour spreads within the brain having started here in the first instance (primary brain tumour) or having spread from another part of the body (secondary brain tumour). Benign tumours do not contain rapidly dividing cancer cells and can grow for many years and may reach a large size before being detected. Malignant tumours usually grow more rapidly and come to attention earlier. 

    Benign tumours don’t require treatment. False.  

Even benign tumours can be as serious as those that are malignant, as they can press on the brain causing serious symptoms and be a threat to life. They may still require treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. 

    All people with a brain tumour have a family history of the disease. False.  

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, just 5-10 per cent of people with a brain tumour will have a family history of the disease. Other associations can include rare genetic syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis and Von Hippel-Lindau disease. 

    Headaches are the most common symptom of a brain tumour. True.  

The Mayo Clinic notes recurrent headaches happen in about half of people with brain tumours. The classic headaches associated with brain tumours are often worse on waking in the morning and, for some, headaches wake them from sleep. The vast majority of headaches experienced by people are unrelated to having a brain tumour.  

For more information on brain tumours, contact Brain Tumour Ireland on 085 7219000 (Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm). Alternatively, a Guide for Patients and Families on Brain Tumours newly-developed by Beaumont Hospital in partnership with Brain Tumour Ireland is available by emailing [email protected] 

For all the latest information on activities taking place as part of International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, visit www.braintumourireland.com or follow on social media: Facebook @braintumourireland; Instagram @brain_tumour_ireland; and Twitter @braintumourirl 

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