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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Cancer patients face winter without heating

21st December 2009

Macmillan Cancer Support has said many cancer patients have problems paying fuel bills and go without heating during winter as a result.


The charity warned that one in four patients would have to go back to bed at Christmas because they were unable to pay for their central heating.

Macmillan said the government should make allowances for cancer patients and offer them the winter fuel payment, which is currently provided to people aged over 60.

The charity has also called for patients to be given rights to the compulsory social support that energy suppliers must offer by 2011.

About 19% of cancer patients are living in fuel poverty - defined as needing to spend 10% of one's income on heating - which is twice that of the general public.

Professor Jane Maher, chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "I see cancer patients suffering from exhaustion during and after treatment all the time."

"Add the factor of 'feeling cold' to exhaustion and you are left with seriously demotivated cancer patients that can do little other than go back to bed to stay warm and conserve energy."

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, added: "The current system is completely failing cancer patients and needs to be brought bang up to date."


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