The UK’s cost of living crisis is forcing cancer patients to cut back on meals, heating and other essentials, potentially harming or delaying their recovery from treatment, the charity Macmillan Cancer Support has warned.
The charity has said some people recovering from chemotherapy or radiotherapy are sleeping in cold bedrooms to keep energy bills down, while others are washing their clothes and bedding less frequently or skipping meals.
This is despite the fact that nutrition, warmth and good hygiene are all essential to ongoing recovery from, and management of, cancer treatment.
Its survey of 2,000 people found that, since December, nearly one in four (24%) had been buying less food or making fewer hot meals to save money.
Nearly a third of people with cancer (32%) had been wearing coats or dressing gowns indoors more to stay warm without putting the heating on.
Cancer patient’s recovery
One in six (16%) admitted they were now washing their clothes or bedding less – or not at all – to keep costs down.
Dr Anthony Cunliffe, national clinical adviser for primary care at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Nutrition, warmth and hygiene are all vital in keeping people with cancer well enough for treatment and aiding their recovery, and to hear that people are being forced to deprive themselves of these essentials is hugely concerning.”