Practical information to help you move forward

Living with a meningioma means that different aspects of your life will sometimes change. Medical needs aside, we know that often it is the practical aspects of life, such as driving and finances, that can have the biggest impact on your quality of life. For example, losing your driving licence is life-changing, as it brings with it a loss of independence and may impact your ability to work. On this page, you will find practical meningioma patient information to help you move forward with your life and find calm in the chaos.


Driving is a topic that is frequently spoken about among our community. When you are diagnosed with a brain tumour of any type, and you hold a valid driving licence, you must inform the DVLA of this. Once you let them know, they will then assess whether you have to surrender your driving licence. This decision is based on many different things, including the tumour type and your treatment pathway.

Our ‘Driving’ Know How goes into more detail about the process of contacting the DVLA and how long you may have to surrender your licence for.

We know that the prospect of having to surrender your driving licence is a big challenge. It can mean a loss of independence, and the uncertainty of when you may be able to resume driving can cause feelings of anxiety. Below, you will find some information on some alternative travel options while you are not able to drive.

Download ‘Driving’ Know How

Travel assistance

If you are struggling with symptoms caused by a meningioma, you may be entitled to help with some aspects of travel and getting around. In some cases, this may help to make day-to-day living a little easier.

While a meningioma diagnosis doesn’t give you an automatic entitlement to any of the schemes outlined here, it is always worth looking into your eligibility according to your symptom burden.  Most of the items listed below require you to prove eligibility for certain disability benefits.

Rail travel

National Rail offers a Disabled Person’s Railcard scheme, where you and one person accompanying you can get a third off rail fares. This costs £20 and is available here:

London rail travel

You can link your Disabled Person’s Railcard to your Oyster card to get a third off Oyster pay-as-you-go single fares and daily caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services. Register at any London Underground, Overground or National Rail station ticket office that issues Oyster cards.

London Freedom Pass

If you live in a London borough, you can apply for a Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass to gain free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally. Some boroughs offer passes at their discretion to people who do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Bus pass

Contact your local county council to apply for a free bus pass.

Location app

what3words is a free app that helps you to easily and accurately identify your location to the emergency services. This could potentially be very useful if you have seizures and going out alone is a worry for you. Search ‘what3words’ in your phone’s app store.

Disabled parking Blue Badge scheme

Displaying a Blue Badge allows you to park in disabled parking bays, often meaning that you can park closer to your destination.

You may be eligible for a Blue Badge if you cannot walk or have difficulty walking, and can evidence this in your application.

Additionally, the criteria have recently been expanded so that people with ‘invisible’ disabilities are now potentially eligible for the scheme. This means that in addition to physical disabilities, non-physical disabilities, including cognitive impairment, psychological effects, such as feeling overwhelmed by busy or loud environments, and cognitive fatigue, are now taken into account.

Check your eligibility and apply here (England, Wales & Scotland) or here (Northern Ireland).

RADAR key for accessible toilets

If treatment can give you an unpredictable stomach, or if you suffer from sickness, it can make the thought of going out anywhere new really challenging. A RADAR key offers you access to the 10,000 locked disabled toilets in the UK, making going out in public far less worrying.

More information about the RADAR National Key Scheme and accessible toilets is available here:

Support around finances and returning to work

Finances and benefits

Following your diagnosis, circumstances may change, and you might find yourself in a situation where your finances are impacted and you are having to look at what financial support is available to you.

If you would like to speak to someone about benefits that you may be eligible to apply for, then we can connect you with our Welfare and Benefits Advisor volunteer. Send us an email on or call us on 01983 292 405 to find out more.

Our ‘Finances and benefits’ Know How guides you through the different types of benefits that may be available to people living with a brain tumour diagnosis. It also signposts where you can go to for support.


Download the Know How

Returning to work

Returning to work following treatment for a meningioma can be a big change. You may be returning to the same job that you were doing before your diagnosis, or you could find that you are looking for a change. Either way, we know this can feel like a daunting task, and one that you may find you need support with.

Our ‘Returning to work’ Know How will guide you through some strategies to help you prepare for returning to work. It will also advise you on support and help that may be available to you.

Download the Know How

Dealing with money worries

When dealing with financial challenges, it can be helpful to have some strategies available to you to help you take a step back and feel able to deal with them.

Our ‘How to deal with money worries’ Know How is designed to provide you with some strategies and tips to help you look at financial challenges differently and work through them.









Download the Know How

Coaching and counselling

All the information on this page has been written to help you feel supported and more in control when living with a meningioma diagnosis. On top of this, we understand the importance of having someone to talk to and, sometimes, having an extra intervention when the challenges of living with a brain tumour diagnosis become too much.


When life feels all-consumed by your brain tumour, coaching helps you to take control and focus on the things that matter the most. You will come away from your coaching sessions with strategies and tools to help you achieve clarity and improve your quality of life.

Get in touch with a coach


When you find yourself in a time of distress and are struggling to cope, our rapid-access counselling service can help you to make sense of your situation and focus on specific immediate goals. We can quickly connect you to a network of counsellors and give you the space for you to talk through your feelings in a safe and confidential place.

Find out more


The Brain Tumour Data Dashboard lets you explore up -to-date, population level data about the brain tumours diagnosed in England between 2013 and 2015. Using the drop down menus on the left you can select different groups of patients to view in the charts below. In these charts the number of patients for every 100 diagnoses is displayed as images of people. Patients have been grouped by date of diagnosis, type of tumour, age, gender, and region in England.

For each group of patients you can explore the different routes to diagnosis, the proportion of those who received chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as the survival of the patients within each group. For more information about what these metrics mean please see the glossary.

How to use

  1. Select the year of diagnosis using the drop down menu.
  2. Select your patient group of interest from the four drop down menus in the following order:
    1. Tumour group
    2. Age at diagnosis
    3. Region of England
    4. Gender of patient
  3. To view a second chart to compare different groups of patients, click the ‘compare’ button.The second chart will appear below the first chart.

*Note that the tool is best used on a laptop or tablet rather than a mobile phone*

Unavailable data

Some of the data in these charts is not available.There are two main reasons for this:

  1. How the data has been grouped

If you cannot select a patient group from the drop down menus, the data is unavailable because of how the data has been organised.

Public Health England has grouped the data like a branching tree. The bottom of the tree contains all the patients with brain tumours, and then each branch divides the data by a certain characteristics, like age, or location of tumour. But the data is divided in an order, starting with location of the tumour (endocrine or brain), then by age, region, and gender. Age is at the start because it makes a bigger difference to survival rates and treatment rates than gender or region. Sometimes, after the data has been split by type of tumour and age, there is not enough data to be split again. This is because to protect patient confidentiality groups cannot contain less than 100 patients. Because some groups cannot be split further, you cannot create ‘totals’ for everyone by region or gender. For example, you cannot see results for all ages by region, or all brain tumours by gender. If these totals were calculated and released, it might be possible to identify patients, which is why Public Health England cannot release this data.

  1. Statistical reasons and data availability

If you can select a patient group from the chart menus, but the chart does not display, the data is unavailable for one of several reasons:

  1. Data is not yet available for the selected year from Public Health England.
  2. Data is not available because the data quality is too poor to release this statistic.
  3. Data is not available as the statistic is not appropriate for this group.
  4. Data is not available because the standard error of the estimate was greater than 20% and so the estimate has been supressed.

Up to date brain tumour data

Brain tumour data may influence the decisions you make about your care. Data also helps you understand the bigger picture, or landscape, in which you find yourself.

Brain tumour data and statistics influence the focus, and work of organisations like brainstrust. The information helps us to understand the scale and impact of the problems we are setting out to solve.

This tool helps you understand the landscape in which you find yourself having been diagnosed with a brain tumour. This landscape can be particularly tricky to navigate as there are many different types of brain tumour, all of which have a different impact.

The information you see represents the most up-to-date, official, population level brain tumour data available for England. Over time we will be adding to the brain tumour data available and publishing reports, with recommendations, as a result of what we learn from this data.

The data behind this content has come from Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and is a direct result of the ‘Get Data Out’ project.

This project provides anonymised population level brain tumour data for public use in the form of standard output tables, accessible here:


The number or rate (per head of population) of new cases of a disease diagnosed in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of cases divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Malignant tumours which grow by invasion into surrounding tissues and have the ability to metastasise to distant sites


The number or rate (per head of population) of deaths in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of deaths divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Not cancerousNon-malignant tumours may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body.


The length of time from the date of diagnosis for a disease, such as cancer, that patients diagnosed with the disease are still alive. In a clinical trial, measuring the survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called ‘overall survival’ or ‘OS’.

Routes to Diagnosis

Under the ‘Routes to Diagnosis’ tab in the Brain Tumour Data Dashboard, you can explore the ways patients have been diagnosed with brain tumours. There are many ways, or routes, for cancers to be diagnosed in the NHS. A ‘route to diagnosis’ is the series of events between a patient and the healthcare system that leads to a diagnosis of cancer. The routes include:

  1. Two Week Wait

Patients are urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer via the Two Week Wait system and are seen by a specialist within 2 weeks where they are diagnosed.

  1. GP referral

Diagnosis via a GP referral includes routine and urgent referrals where the patient was not referred under the Two Week Wait system.

  1. Emergency Presentation

Cancers can be diagnosed via emergency situations such as via A&E, emergency GP referral, emergency transfer or emergency admission.

  1. Outpatient

Outpatient cancer diagnoses include diagnoses via an elective route which started with an outpatient appointment that is either a self-referral or consultant to consultant referral. (It does not include those under the Two Week Wait referral system).

  1. Inpatient elective

Diagnosis via an inpatient elective route is where diagnosis occurs after the patient has been admitted into secondary care from a waiting list, or where the admission is booked or planned.

  1. Death Certificate Only

Diagnoses made by Death Certificate Only are made where there is no more information about the cancer diagnosis other than the cancer related death notifications. The date of diagnosis is the same as that of the date of death.

  1. Unknown

For some patients with a cancer diagnosis, there is no relevant data available to understand the route to diagnosis.


More information

If any of the statistical terms in this section of the brainstrust website are hard to understand, we recommend looking them up here:

Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Statistics Explained

If you are looking for help understanding terms relating specifically to brain tumours, and treatment, then the brainstrust glossary is available here: