FOUR out of five cancer sufferers are hit with an average cost of £570 a month as a result of the illness.
The shocking new figures, released today, show that one third of cancer sufferers lose an average of £860 a month in earnings because they are unable to work while six out of seven people suffering with the disease see their monthly expenses soar by £270 a month as they fork out for travel, car parking, fuel and medication.
Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity which carried out the research, said 500 people get diagnosed with cancer in Hartlepool every year. The charity is now calling on the Government, NHS and businesses to act and help ease the pressures of financial burdens on cancer sufferers.
Nick Mudge, Macmillan Cancer Support’s interim general manager in the north of England, described the cost of cancer as a “second mortgage.” He said: “This new research shows that cancer comes with a whopping price tag for many patients. “Combined with the current recession and with welfare cuts, the cost of the disease is hitting the most vulnerable hardest.“With the number of people living with cancer in the UK doubling from two to four million by 2030, this is a growing problem which cannot be ignored.”
In a bid to support sufferers, Macmillan Cancer Support uses its grant programme to provide financial assistance.
Last year, in County Durham, the charity paid out £125,465 to 447 people to help with extra costs.
Elaine also benefited from the support during and after her battle with cancer as the charity helped her to claim benefits and provided a £350 grant to buy a new washing machine.“While I was being treated, I was offered a Macmillan nurse. I thought they were only for people who are dying but that’s not the case. She was always there for me and really helped,” said Elaine. “I’m so grateful for the help I’ve had from Macmillan.”
Hartlepool charity, the Denise Taylor Cancer Trust, also works to ease the financial burden for cancer sufferers.
The charity was set up by inspirational Denise in 2009 before she lost her battle with cancer.
For more information about the charity visit www.denisetaylorcancertrust.co.uk.
For more about financial support for those suffering with cancer and to find the nearest face-to-face benefits advisor, visit www.macmillan.org.uk/financialsupport or call 0808 808 00 00.