Cancer patients have great difficulty making ends meet and most often end up selling their homes. Loss of income due to frequent absence from work and extra costs force them into this situation. This finding is the result of a survey conducted in Ireland that studied 1,751 people. Reports indicate that 39,000 people are living with cancer in Northern Ireland.
The Macmillan Cancer Support research indicated that almost 20% had difficulties in keeping up with their mortgage or rental payments. About 6 % lost their homes. Even 11% of those who were self-employed, said they had lost their home. Extra costs included medical and prescription charges, hospital charges and extra expense on special diets.
Peter Cardy, the charity's chief executive said, 'Having cancer should not cost you your home. These figures show that, through cancer, as many as 45,000 people each year are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and 15,000 have lost their homes.'
'Too many people are facing overwhelming financial pressures at a time when they are fighting cancer - borrowing money, moving in with family, selling up or moving to help make ends meet. Some even face repossession.'
'Macmillan is raising awareness of this desperate financial situation to help prevent more cancer patients from reaching crisis point.'
The charity has decided to help all cancer patients by giving them access to advice on specialist benefits and financial help.
It has also launched a new 'Hitting Home' campaign that help patients to check their insurance policies, and get advice on claiming benefits.