Four in five cancer patients in Wales are hit by the cost of cancer, with an average paying out £640 a month on essentials such as travel and equipment according to the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
Cancer costs the average patient in Wales £640 a month, in lost wages, travel to hospital, new clothes and adaptations to their homes according to the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
Leeann Stroud of Bridgend says transport costs alone for her mother ran into hundreds each month.
In a bid to help cancer patients cope with the increases financial difficulties, Macmillan Cancer Support has created 13 welfare benefit adviser posts with local authorities and health boards. The advisers provide face-to-face financial support to people affected by cancer.
In 2012, advisers helped people affected by cancer claim £10.1million in benefits, the charity says.
Jonathan Long works as a Welfare Rights Adviser for Macmillan in Merthyr Tydfil. He told ITV News how the cost of cancer can take its toll on patients.
Macmillan's 'Cancer's Hidden Price Tag' campaign follows on from its 'Counting the Cost of Cancer' report which was launched last year looking at cancer poverty in Wales.
– Susan Morris, Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales
This new research shows that cancer comes with a whopping price tag for many patients. Combined with the current recession and with welfare cuts, the cost of the disease is hitting the most vulnerable hardest. With the number of people living with cancer in Wales doubling from 120,000 to 240,000 by 2030, this is a growing problem which cannot be ignored.
Cancer costs more than a monthly mortgage payment. We must act now to protect the financially vulnerable from having to foot the bill for their illness.
Four in five cancer patients in Wales are hit by the cost of cancer, according to a new report from Macmillan Cancer Support. The 'Cancer's Hidden Price Tag' report found that people living with cancer have to cope with additional financial burdens including transport costs and increased fuel bills.
According to the report:
- a third of patients are hit by loss of earnings
- nine out of 10 patients will spend more following diagnosis
- the average additional cost for a cancer patient in Wales is £330 a month
- those in work and those with children are more likely to bear the costs of their illness
The charity says the extra costs are worsened by the fact that many people lose money as they are unable to work or have to cut down their hours, with the average loss of earnings totalling £310 a month.