A cancer diagnosis can mean time off work and changing circumstances. Here is our guide to finding financial help with the costs of cancer.
Many people do realise the cost of cancer to health, but perhaps fewer appreciate that the illness has a financial impact on sufferers.
The North East has the highest rates of oesophageal cancer in the world, but nine out of ten of us would not recognise the signs.
The parents of a Northumberland teenager, who died from leukaemia seven years ago, say they are proud of the legacy she leaves.
Today would have been Josie Grove's twenty fourth birthday.
After rigorous treatment in hospital, Josie eventually decided not to continue, and instead enjoy her final few months with her family.
Josie's memory lives on in a charity which she founded before her death. It has now given a quarter of million pounds to brightening the lives of other young people with cancer.
Josie's parents Jacqui and Cliff say the charity helps her memory live on:
The former England and Durham cricketer Sir Ian Botham will officially open a new centre for medical research into cancer and diabetes in Darlington.
The sportsman, known as 'Beefy', will cut the ribbon on a new Centre for Clinical Research and Innovation at Darlington Memorial Hospital. The £285,000 unit is one of the biggest in the North East of England. It has been funded by research already being undertaken by the NHS Trust.
The parents of a girl who has been fighting a rare form of cancer say they are shocked and relived as scans now suggest the disease has disappeared.
Six-year-old Fraja Simpson, from North Yorkshire, has had extensive treatment and surgery for neuroblastoma after being diagnosed with the disease early last year. The aggressive childhood cancer targets the nervous system.
Her parents, Garry and Michelle Simpson, say doctors have told them her treatment seems to have worked.
Following Fraja's diagnosis, the Simpsons started a campaign to raise half a million pounds to take her to America for treatment she cannot receive here.
The family say their fundraising will continue in case Fraja suffers a relapse, something they say happens in about 60% of patients.
Research carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support found that 4 out of 5 cancer patients are hit by additional costs of around £570 per month because of their illness. That figure is the same as the average monthly mortgage payment.
When cancer of the oesophagus first develops it rarely causes any symptoms. This is because the tumour is very small. It is only when the cancer starts to become larger and more advanced that symptoms will start to develop. Those might include:
- difficulty swallowing
- unexplained weight loss (caused by a combination of difficulties swallowing and the cancer’s harmful effects on your body)
- pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
- throat pain and discomfort
- persistent indigestion
- persistent cough
- coughing blood
The North East of England has the world's highest rates of cancer of the oesophagus and stomach, according to Public Health England, partly due to our high levels of obesity.
However, nine out of ten of us would not recognise the symptoms.
A new TV advert showing in the North East and North Cumbria will raise awareness of what to look for.
Lucy Taylor reports.