A survey by Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed that people are often unprepared for the financial cost of cancer.
Research by Macmillan Cancer Support has shown that the average cancer patient in Wales faces over £1,500 in extra costs on top of loss of income.
Their report, called Counting the Costs of Cancer, suggests that 95 per cent of patients face an increase in travel cost- an average of £275 per patient in the first year rising to £400 over five years.
An extra £400 is spent on new clothes over five years as patients change weight through chemotherapy, and wigs may be needed to cover hair loss. Energy bills also rise as the cancer patient will be at home more. Other costs include childcare and household modifications.
These additional costs come at a time of reduced income if the sufferer is unable to work. The survey revealed that 43 per cent of cancer patients in employment at the time of diagnosis experience loss of income.
Susan Morris, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said the financial impact of cancer was a growing problem in Wales. At the moment, patients and their families are not routinely offered financial advice and support when they receive a diagnosis. She said:
"When people think of cancer they don't usually think of money. But the sad fact is that for many people who get cancer, money is one of their biggest worries."
The charity is urging the Welsh government to ensure all cancer sufferers are given financial advice when diagnosed with the disease.
The charity also highlights that UK government changes to the welfare system means that their benefits may be cut. People who are worried about losing their income through long term health problems like cancer should consider investing in income protection.
Income protection insurance will replace your monthly income if you are unable to work due to accident, sickness or unemployment, giving you essential financial security as you get better. For more information take a look at our page on income protection.
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