Canada has launched its first brain tumour registry in its battle to better treat the disease and avoid reliance on foreign data.
The information collected by the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada will be used by researchers to map incidents of these growths and help researchers find better treatments and eventually a cure.
Every day 27 Canadians will be diagnosed with a brain tumour, slightly more than in the U.S., the BTFC said.
“That’s based on four provinces, B.C., Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, about 70 per cent of our population,” Susan Marshall, chief executive of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, told CTV’s Your Morning.
“We’ve been using statistics from the U.S. and other countries to determine how many brain tumours are being diagnosed in our country and what type of brain tumours they are.
“So this registry, we’ve been working on for 12 years, will report on non-malignant, as well as malignant primary brain tumours.”
BTFC aims to have a comprehensive national report by 2020, which will include the entire Canadian population, including incidence, survival and prevalence data.
According to the BTFC, around 55,000 Canadians are living with more than 120 different types of brain tumour.
In the past, the BTRC has only been reporting on malignant brain tumours considered cancerous, but the new registry will also report on non-malignant growths.
“Over two thirds of the brain tumours found in Canada are actually non-malignant, so that’s a very significant number,” Marshall said from London, Ont.
“There’s a lot that we can learn to treat them better by knowing more about our own country.”
BTFC provides programs, services and support to people affected by brain tumours.
“This information is critical to us to know where the need is and how we can help people better who are diagnosed with this disease,” Marshall said.
“We also fund research so our interest is very much in providing Canadian researchers with current and accurate information about brain tumours so that they can do their job, which is to find better treatment options and eventually a cure for this disease.”
The registry has been funded by BTFC, the Brain Canada Foundation through the Canada Brain Research Fund, with the financial support of Health Canada.