Strategies to accelerate diagnosis of primary brain tumors at the primary–secondary care interface in children and adults

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Abstract

SUMMARY This article presents a shared view from practitioners with special interests in diagnosing and managing primary brain tumors in both primary and secondary care, in adult and pediatric disciplines; it examines the complexity of identifying whether it would be of benefit and feasible to try to identify those with brain tumors earlier, how this could be achieved and what evidence exists to justify such an approach. The experience of the HeadSmart Campaign in childhood brain tumor, using awareness as a method for driving service change, is used to illustrate how diagnostic practice can be changed across the primary and secondary care interface. This article highlights the importance of focusing upon the needs of patients with primary brain tumors as they represent a significant set of life-threatening and disabling diseases with significant implications for cancer and palliative services.

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