Around 14,050 people in Greater Manchester are diagnosed with cancer every year which, according to new analysis released by Macmillan Cancer Support, could force them and their families to find hundreds of pounds a month to cover the costs of the disease.
Macmillan calculates that the average family in England is left with around £375 each month after paying for necessities such as bills, food and everyday travel.
But previous research by the charity shows that cancer has an average monthly cost of £570 for the vast majority of English cancer patients. Working parents with young children are hit hardest by the financial cost of cancer.
The charity warns that an adult being diagnosed with cancer could therefore leave the average English family with a potential shortfall of around £200 a month even if they were to cut out all leisure activities and reduce their spending to bare essentials.
Macmillan says thousands of parents could already be struggling with the cost of cancer and the issue will only worsen as almost half the population is predicted to get the disease at some point in their lives by 2026.
Extra costs include hospital appointment travel; household bills’ rising due to being at home more and feeling the cold after treatment; and paying for extra support with help at home such cleaning. And many people have to cut down their working hours or stop working altogether because they are too unwell resulting in a significant loss of income.
Macmillan, which offers grants, benefits advice and financial guidance for people affected by cancer, is urging folk to seek financial help to stop money worries spiralling out of control. It warns that otherwise the average family could be forced to turn to their savings, credit cards, take out a loan or even sell their home to cover the potential shortfall.
No-one should face financial worries alone. For financial support and to find a nearby face-to-face benefits advisor visit www.macmillan.org.uk/moneyworries or call free on 0808 808 00 00.