Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis


"Cancer doesn’t just affect your health, it can come with a hefty price tag, too. What is often overlooked, and can be devastating, is cancer’s financial impact. On average, four out of five people are £570 a month worse off because of their diagnosis."

Macmillan Cancer Support: Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis  

Macmillan Cancer Support wants to make sure that the people they help are getting the financial support they need when diagnosed and treated for cancer.

Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis

The charity's new report, 'Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis' focuses on the real-life stories of people living with cancer.  It highlights the harsh realities of the financial issues that people face when diagnosed, while having treatment and afterwards.

It focuses on three areas:

  • Universal Credit
  • Banking Sector
  • Travel Insurance.
'The stress of the financial impact of cancer is worse than cancer itself."

Ignaty, London, diagnosed with cancer in June 2015

Universal Credit

The state welfare system provides a vital safety net for people when they need support the most. However, Macmillan is concerned that Universal Credit is failing to meet the needs of people with cancer, with too many losing out on vital support.

Macmillan is calling for fundamental changes to be made to Universal Credit to ensure that it provides the support people with cancer need to manage the financial impact of their diagnosis

Banking Sector

Macmillan wants every person with cancer to be able to rely on their financial services provider to give the support they need to cope with the financial impact of cancer. People often play a 'banking lottery', not sure what services are available and whether their bank can or can't help them.

The charity wants a legal Duty of Care to ensure that all financial services providers act in the best interests of their customers, encouraging banks to take a pre-emptive approach. One that identifies the needs of their customers and ensures they do not experience harm.

Travel Insurance

The current system is stacked against those affected by cancer - even if they are in remission.

People with cancer continuously face disproportionately high premiums, some of which have been as high as £10,000. This has led many to cancel trips to see relatives or to go on much needed holidays.

While Macmillan understands that pre-existing conditions will lead to higher premiums, the charity is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to do a market study to investigate pricing practices in the travel industry that are causing harm to people's finances and wellbeing.

Use Turn2us tools and information to find help

If you are living with a cancer, you may be entitled to benefits or you could be eligible for a charitable grant, depending on your background, circumstances and needs.

Visit our ‘Ill, injured or have a disability' page for more information.

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search to find charitable funds that might be able to help you.

You can also call us on 0808 802 2000 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm) to find out what financial support is available.

Quotes, source and access to the 'Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis' report

Macmillan Cancer Support: Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis