Tom Parker has spoken out about his shock of the treatment and funding for people with brain cancer.
The Bolton-born 33-year-old – who is one fifth of the boyband The Wanted – has been raising awareness for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) since being diagnosed with the terminal inoperable brain tumour in October 2020.
Since his diagnosis, he’s been getting private treatment on top of NHS care in efforts to prolong his life.
Back in January, Tom was overjoyed to announce in a post to Instagram that his latest MRI scan had shown a “significant reduction” of the tumour, but during an appearance on a new podcast released this month, he has said that a “massive improvement” is needed in treatment for brain tumours, and that a lack of research funding is part of the issue.
He added the NHS had been “great” – but he wants more to be done.
According to leading charity Brain Tumour Research, GBM is the most common type of brain tumour and is also one of the most aggressive, but there is currently no cure, and it often resists treatment.
The average survival time from diagnosis is 12 to 18 months.
NHS treatment for people with brain cancer tends to include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, steroids, and drugs to help reduce symptoms, but speaking on the podcast Chat2Amani – which is hosted by 23-year-old Amani Liaquat, who also has GBM – Tom says “there’s got to be a better answer out there than just that”.
Sadly, NHS treatments didn’t work on Amani’s tumour, but she said she’s seen some small signs of the tumour shrinking since her family raised £100,000 to buy a year’s supply of a trial drug from Germany.
Tom continued: “It drives me insane, the world just revolves around money… there’s drugs out there that can save people’s lives – it’s so frustrating.”
A chemotherapy drug called Temozolomide is the standard treatment offered by the NHS to GBM patients – which hasn’t changed for almost 20 years, according to Brain Tumour Research – and Tom said it’s “shocking” that this hasn’t been changed in such a long time.
“I don’t want to beat around the bush about the NHS,” Tom said.
“I think they’ve been great but I think there’s a massive improvement needed in treatment for brain tumours.”
The amount of money spent annually in the UK on brain cancer research has increased from £4 million in 2009-10 to £15 million in 2019-20, but Brain Tumour Research says that figure must increase to £35 million to address the “chronic lack of funding”.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health told BBC Newsbeat in response that the government has committed more than £40 million of funding to brain cancer research over five years in 2018, adding: “We are supporting the research community working on brain cancer by funding every single eligible research request in this area and providing research training for practicing doctors.”
Tom Parker said helping to increase funding for treatment and research is “the one thing” he wants to achieve by speaking out about his own experience of cancer.
You can listen to Tom’s full ‘BrainBubble’ episode on the Chat2Amani podcast here.
Featured Image – Channel 4
Taylor Swift and The 1975 frontman Matty Healy are reportedly ‘no longer romantically involved’
Taylor Swift and Matty Healy are apparently “no longer romantically involved” with each other, according to reports.
Although, as fans will tell you, it was debatable if they ever even were to begin with.
The American global pop megastar and The 1975 frontman have each been in a number of high-profile relationships throughout their musical careers, but no relationship seems to have attracted the pair more media attention than when they were romantically linked with each other.
Swift and Healy have been pictured together multiple times in recent months, sending their millions of fans into frenzy.
But reports have emerged today in US outlet People, as well as in TMZ and from a number of other prominent sources, that they are “no longer romantically involved” with each other, and that the relationship was only ever “casual” anyway.
“She had fun with him, but it was always casual. They are no longer romantically involved,” the source told People.
Social media had been awash with fans speculating a relationship between the pair after Swift called it quits with long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, back in April.
The 33-year-old multi GRAMMY and BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter is currently performing in major cites right across the US as part of her sold-out ‘Eras Tour’, while the hugely-successful Manchester band have just finished their own massive UK tour, and are now doing the rounds on the summer festival circuit.
As well as the pair being seen and pictured on several occasions leaving venues together, and supposedly – and pretty cryptically – sending messages to each other on stage via songs, Healy also gave a surprise performance at Swift’s show in Nashville last month, where he appeared on stage alongside musician and mutual friend Phoebe Bridgers, who was supporting Swift.
Although, as we’ve obviously established, no relationship was ever confirmed between the pair.
Swift is to continue on with the sold-out US leg of her ‘Eras Tour’ – which broke the record for most concert tickets ever sold in a single day – until 9 August, before heading down for several shows in Mexico and South America.
She has also just announced that the next re-recording in her ‘Taylor’s Version’ catalogue will be her 2010 album, Speak Now – which is set for release on 7 July.
The 1975, on the other hand, are set to make a highly-anticipated homecoming return as headliners of Manchester’s Parklife Festival this weekend.
Featured Image – CBC | Variety
Lewis Capaldi cancels gigs to ‘rest and recover’ with loved ones after ‘struggling’
Lewis Capaldi has said in an emotional statement that he will be cancelling all of his upcoming commitments until his Glastonbury appearance.
The Scottish singer-songwriter said that he had been ‘struggling’ with the whirlwind promo tour for his newest album, Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent.
He said that the last few months had been ‘full on both mentally and physically’ and he needed to take some time to rest and recover at home in Glasgow with his friends and family.
The apologetic message shared on social media apologised to fans who had already spent money on hotels and travel for the affected shows, which included an intimate gig in Leeds tonight, The Hoot reports.
Lewis, who is almost as well-known for his brilliant sense of humour as for his chart-topping music, announced that he wanted to be at his best for Glastonbury.
Taking to Instagram, Lewis wrote: “Hi everyone, hope you’re well. This is a really difficult message, and one that hurts me a lot to have to type, but I’m really sorry to say that I’m going to have to cancel all commitments from now until I play Glastonbury on June 24th.
“It’s been such an incredible time leading into this new album, and seeing all of the support from everyone has been beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. That said, the last few months have been full on both mentally and physically, I haven’t been home properly since Christmas and at the moment I’m struggling to get to grips with it all.
“I need to take a moment to rest and recover, to be at my best and ready for Glastonbury and all of the other incredible shows coming up so that I’m able to continue doing what I love for a long time to come. I need to take these three weeks to be Lewis from Glasgow for a bit, spend some time with my family and friends and do normal life things that are an important part of me feeling better. I hope everyone understands.
“I know many of you will have spent money on travel or hotels, which I appreciate more than ever with how difficult things are economically at the moment, so I’m extremely sorry for the impact this will have. The fact you’re willing to come out and spend your time, money and love on these shows is beyond comprehension and I feel incredibly lucky.
“I’m getting all the help and support I need from the incredible people around me who I’m so grateful for.
“I take none of this for granted and can’t wait to be back doing it again. All my love Lewis x”