A SOUTH Essex MP joined with patients and carers to raise awareness for brain tumour research.

Stephen Metcalfe, Tory MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, was on hand as part of Brain Tumour Awareness Month event in Parliament on Wednesday.

It was held to mark the month of awareness and the charity’s Wear a Hat Day which takes place on Friday, March 31.

Mr Metcalfe, who chairs the Government's science and technology select committee, is calling for greater awareness amongst the public of brain tumours and increased funding into research for a cure.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the disease.

To compound this, incidence has risen by 19 per cent between 2002 and 2014 even without including the thousands of secondary brain tumours diagnosed every year.

Less than 20 per cent of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years of their diagnosis – compared with 86 per cent for breast cancer and 51 per cent for leukaemia.

Mr Metcalfe said: "I was grateful for the opportunity to attend this event in Parliament for Brain Tumour Awareness Month and to hear from patients, carers, and medical professionals who all have experience of fighting the awful disease.

"It is clear that there is currently not enough investment into treatments and basic public understanding. For this reason it is crucial that we support funding efforts and find new ways of defeating brain tumours.

"I hope that Brain Tumour Awareness month is a success in raising funding and boosting public awareness and I would like to thank Brain Tumour Research for all they have done in organising events across the country."