Cancer patients in Perth & Kinross are relying on grants given out by Macmillan Cancer Support to help with the financial impact of the disease.
The leading cancer charity paid out over £31,300 in grants to cancer patients in Perth & Kinross last year. This helped 95 patients to pay fuel bills, buy clothing, a bed and costs for travelling to and from hospital.
Research by Macmillan found that four in five people in Scotland are, on average, £420 a month worse off as a result of a cancer diagnosis, due to a reduced income and increased expenses. Worryingly, over a third of Scottish cancer patients admitted to struggling to keep up with financial commitments such as paying their mortgage, rent or council tax. Almost half of patients also faced increased fuel bills because they struggled to keep warm as a result of their treatment. Shockingly, this resulted in over a quarter of people with cancer not being able to keep their home adequately warm in winter because of the expense.
Janice Preston of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Cancer patients are clearly in desperate need of financial support. These figures show just how much people affected by cancer in Scotland are relying on help from Macmillan to cope with the financial impact of the disease.
“A cancer diagnosis can stop people working which means they have to live on a vastly reduced income and at the same time it brings increased costs. Cancer patients need to put their energy into getting better. Instead many are living in cold homes anxious about how they’re going to cope with increased costs such as energy bills and travelling to and from hospital.”
Macmillan Cancer Support gave out over £1.5 million in grants to more than 4,700 cancer patients in Scotland last year. Most of these grants were for fuel, clothing, beds, mattresses, bedding and white goods.
If you’re worried about paying your fuel bills or need other financial help such as whether you qualify for the npower Fuel Management Programme call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk/heating.