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Brain tumour patient calls for more investment in 'most deadly' cancer

Alexandra Dixon, from Chelsea, is receiving treatment following a second brain tumour diagnosis

Alexandra Dixon with boyfriend, Edward Heaton

A woman who is receiving treatment for a second brain tumour is calling for more money to be made available to fight the cancer.

Alexandra Dixon, from Chelsea, made the appeal ahead of Wear a Hat Day, on Friday (March 27), which raises brain tumour awareness.

She is currently receiving treatment after an operation to remove a second tumour took place at the end of last year. Her first tumour was diagnosed in 2007, when she was just 33.

The 41-year-old was speaking during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, which saw her and other campaigners attend a special function at Parliament, hosted by House of Commons speaker John Bercow.

She said she wants the government to invest more money into finding a cure for what is the most deadly of all cancers.

Ms Dixon said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease. This is unacceptable.”

She was diagnosed with a tangerine-sized, low-grade oligodendroglioma brain tumour after suffering a series of severe epileptic seizures while on holiday in France.

She underwent a high-risk operation at The Cromwell Hospital, in Kensington & Chelsea, to have it removed, and was warned that she may not survive the procedure.

She remained awake during the operation, carried out by Kevin O’Neill, so medics could monitor how much of the tumour could be removed without causing damage.

Tests revealed the operation to be a success, with no further treatment required.

Feeling positive

Later Ms Dixon got involved with the Brain Tumour Research Campaign, and went on to become a trustee, helping raise money and awareness.

However, during a regular check-up in 2012, a MRI scan picked up a new smaller tumour.

She underwent a second operation - similar to the first - with boyfriend Edward Heaton by her side. in November last year. Once again, it was carried out by the same neurosurgeon, this time taking place at Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham.

Since then, she has undergone six-and-a-half weeks of radio and chemotherapy, which has left her very tired and with loss of hair.

Ms Dixon said: “I was prepared that this would happen so it was expected. It is upsetting but part of the process and I always wear a hat when I go out.”

She will now receive 12 cycles of chemotherapy over the next year.

Ms Dixon said: “I am hoping that this will get rid of the tumour forever.

"I don’t have any children and, at the age of 41, it is quite upsetting to think that this might be something I no longer have any choice over.

"Your mortality is something you don’t necessarily want to have to think about, particularly at my age.

“Having been involved with the charity, I hear from mothers who have lost their babies because they didn’t realise something was wrong and it was too late. However, we know about my tumour so it can be monitored.

“This is extremely positive and I am looking forward to a long and active life ahead.”

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