Cancer patients struck with financial troubles

Money problems affect more than two-thirds of cancer patients, with a combination of being unable to return to work, the cost of hospital trips and increases in household expenses all exacerbating the mental toll of simply dealing with the condition, according to a poll of 1,500 patients by YouGov on behalf of charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

The research was also, in part, designed to highlight the charity’s opposition to the Government’s proposed changes to employment and support allowance, including tougher tests for those deemed able to carry out “work-related activities”.

One in six of those who suffered financially were forced to cut back on everyday essentials such as buying food, 5% said that they had skipped meals to save money and 7% were scared of losing their home, Macmillan added.

In a separate study, the charity has warned that men with poor lifestyle habits suffer worse side-effects of prostate cancer treatment than those with healthier lifestyles.

Research presented in November at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference concluded that men with poor lifestyle habits experienced more debilitating and often permanent side-effects of prostate cancer treatment than those with healthier lifestyles.

Men with prostate cancer who smoked, were inactive or overweight during and after radiotherapy suffered far more from side-effects such as rectal bleeding, erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

The study was carried out at The Primrose Oncology Research Unit and was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

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