Cancer patients' isolation 'crisis'

Macmillan Cancer Support says some cancer patients in Wales are going hungry, missing medical appointments or even deciding to reject treatment because of a lack of support from their friends and family.

Macmillan cancer report: 'We must tackle isolation now'

With the number of cancer patients in Wales set to double from 120,000 to 240,000 by 2030, cancer charities say the issue of isolation must be tackled 'immediately'.

It comes as a report by Macmillan reveals almost one in five people diagnosed with cancer here each year lack support from their family and friends.

This research shows that isolation can have a truly shattering impact on people living with cancer. Patients are going hungry, missing medical appointments and even deciding to reject treatment altogether which could be putting their lives at risk - all because of a lack of support. But these figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

– Susan Morris, Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales

One in eight cancer patients 'rarely visited' by family

The charity Macmillan has launched a campaign to tackle isolation in cancer patients as a report reveals one in five lack support from their loved ones.

Macmillan's 'Facing the Fight Alone' report found one in eight (12%) of people living with cancer surveyed haven't had a single visit from friends or family in over six months.

The report also revealed that this lack of support for some cancer patients means:

  • Over half (53%) of isolated patients have skipped meals or not eaten properly
  • More than one in 10 (11%) have missed medical appointments
  • One in six (18%) have been unable to pick up prescriptions for their medication

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Isolation 'putting cancer patients at risk'

Research by Macmillan has highlighted the isolation some cancer patients feel Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Some cancer patients in Wales are going hungry, missing medical appointments or even deciding to reject live-saving treatment because they feel isolated by their loved ones - according to a report published today.

Macmillan Cancer Support says one in five people diagnosed with cancer here each year lack vital support from family and friends.

Their report 'Facing the Fight Alone' report reveals 19% of the 18,000 newly-diagnosed cancer patients in Wales - an estimated 3,420 people every year - feel isolation during their treatment and recovery.

The report found some people's isolation appeared to be a direct result of their illness, with 18% saying they'd lost touch with loved ones because of their diagnosis.