The number of people who are constantly taking care of their friends or family members with cancer is rapidly increasing in the United Kingdom, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
In 2011, UK had 1 million cancer carers and now the number has risen by almost a third in recent years, with 1,416,000 carers in 2016.
‘UK’s Macmillan Cancer Support said the number of cancer carers had risen by almost a third in recent years, with 1,416,000 carers in 2016 compared to just over a million in 2011.’
The research conducted by the charity among 6,000 people found that cancer carer spend an average of 17.5 hours per week while 1 in 5 spend up to 35 hours caring for somebody with cancer.
Caring includes changing dressings, administering medication and helping them with everyday chores such as going to the toilet, eating etc.
Many carers are taking care of people with cancer as a full-time job, often compromising their own health. Carers range in age from 17 to 80s, with 55% of all carers saying they receive no external support. Therefore, the charity stresses the importance of establishing a support system for these carers.
Fran Woodard, executive director of policy and impact at Macmillan Cancer Support, said, "As the number of people being diagnosed with cancer continues to rise, we will see even more people having to care for their friends and family, so we urgently need to ensure the right support is in place for them."