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Thursday 22nd August 2019

The cost of cancer

23rd May 2012

Macmillan Cancer Support has told the Welsh government that it needs to make sure people are advised about financial matters when they are given a cancer diagnosis.

Pound Coins

The charity said cancer patients did not know about the benefits they could claim and could also be unaware of the cost of having the disease. 

Research published by the charity found 95% of cancer patients found their travelling expenses increased as they needed to make regular visits to hospitals for treatment and appointments.

Travelling expenses were calculated at an average of £275 per patient in their first year of diagnosis. This figure rose to £400 over five years. 

The data showed an average patient had to spend more than £1,500 on costs related to their disease and often lost money because they were unable to work.

A report by the charity, Counting the Cost of Cancer, said energy bills often increased because patients spent more time at home.

The report also found 43% of cancer sufferers experienced a loss in income after diagnosis. 

More than half of cancer patients said they were concerned about their finances and over four in 10 said financial issues had made them "stressed or anxious".

Susan Morris, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: "When people think of cancer they don't usually think of money. But the sad fact is that for many people who get cancer, money is one of their biggest worries."

"Access to timely and appropriate benefits advice can significantly reduce financial hardship, alleviate anxiety and stress, improve quality of life and help people make informed choices throughout their cancer journey." 

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