The number of cancer patients seeking help for money worries has risen sharply in the last year according to Macmillan Cancer Support, with rising prices and an increase in debt suggested as a possible cause.
For the majority of people diagnosed with cancer (83%) the disease costs an average of £570 per month1. This is a result of lost income – if people are too ill to work – and increased expenses.
Extra expenses could include petrol if people need to travel to hospital or more expensive food if people’s dietary requirements have changed because of treatment. Macmillan has reported an increase in calls to its helpline, emails and referrals for people needing financial advice.
The Macmillan Living Well Cancer Information Service, which is part funded by the charity and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, in partnership with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, offers a lifeline to local people by helping people access the financial support that may be available to them.
The service supported more than 1000 people last year to access vital funds after a diagnosis of cancer.
Diane Mason, 47, who lives in Doncaster, was supported by the Macmillan Living Well team after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in February 2017, she said:
“Before cancer I was a successful small business owner, then suddenly I was diagnosed with cancer and my life was turned upside down.
“ I first visited the Macmillan Living Well Team back in April, they supported me in an application for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), as well as securing a Macmillan Grant.
“ The team have been fantastic. Not only have they supported me with financial help, but also mentally; I don’t know what I would have done without them.
“No one expects the financial and emotional trauma of cancer; I also found the Macmillan Support Line a great resource. You can speak to someone who gets it, and is an expert in what they’re talking about.”
Joanne O’Marr, Macmillan Living Well Cancer Information Service Lead, based at St John’s Information Centre said:
“The increase in calls to the Macmillan Support Line shows that many cancer patients are at their wits end because of money worries.
“We are here to offer free confidential advice to patients, carers and family members about benefits and charitable grants that may be available.”
The Macmillan Living Well Team will be on board the Macmillan bus when it visits Doncaster on Thursday 13 July. The bus will be parked up at St Sepulchure Gate from 10:00 – 16:00.
The Macmillan team of Cancer Information Specialists will be on hand to answer questions, provide support and inform people about local cancer support.
Macmillan wants to ensure people with cancer and money worries in Doncaster get the support they need, you can contact the Macmillan Living Well Service on 01302 796 853.
To find out more about the wider financial impact of cancer and get support you can visit the Macmillan website macmillan.org.uk/moneyworries.