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Sarah ShahBrain tumours are rare. There are about 4,000 new cases a year in the UK, so the average GP will see a new case once every nine years (Lindsay et al, 1997; www.statistics.gov.uk). This low incidence makes it essential that patients are treated at specialist centres. The impact on patients and families can be devastating: the tumour can affect intellect, memory, personality, movement, sensation and control of the body's vital systems.