National

Brain cancer numbers prompt research call

By AAP Newswire

Brain cancer is now the most deadly form of the disease among Victorian children.

A Cancer Council Victoria report published on Monday says it has overtaken leukaemia.

Karen Spence lost her 12-year-old daughter Kiara to brain cancer in March after a decade-long fight.

She said the disease had the potential to affect anybody.

"We're not the only people going through this, there's so many. They're all doing it hard and trying to support their kids," she said.

"It's a world of it's own and its not until you're a part of it, you really don't know it exists. There's a lot of people doing it tough out there."

Mrs Spence said no family should go through what she has and more investment in brain cancer research is vital.

"Brain cancer just does so much damage - even for those who are surviving, its not easy," she said.

"These kids don't need to suffer like that and be dealt these life-long sentences. The treatment does need to get better."

Mrs Spence wants to continue to spread the message in her daughter's memory.

"My daughter isn't a statistic, she had a name and she fought her whole life to be here," she said.

"She had to deal with so much, that the least I can do is go through a bit more pain or vulnerability to help with the awareness that we are currently just not doing enough for brain cancer."

Professor Sue Evans, the director of the Victorian Cancer Registry, said that there needed to be more investment in researching the disease.

"It's hard to know whether that will make a significant improvement (in survival rates) or not, but I think that it's certainly the start," she said.

Cancer Council Victoria chief executive Todd Harper wants more funding support from private donors and government.

"Brain cancer has few treatment options and low five-year survival," he said.

"We need significant investment in dedicated research to improve outcomes for those affected, especially children."