Why our service is needed

Cancer Sufferers

Macmillan Cancer Supports report ‘The need for, and impact of, cancer information and support services for people affected by cancer’ (July 2010) tells us:
  • 87% of cancer patients want to know more about their disease however many do not receive the right information at the right time in the right way. There are particular gaps in the provision of information addressing emotional, financial and social concerns.  There is also recognition that effective information and support differs depending on the needs of the client.
  • Often those most in need of interventions and information are those that are the least likely to be able to find, interpret and absorb such information without support.  This suggests that there is a need not only for the provision of information but also a need for information to be explained and delivered in a way which is appropriate to the individual.
One in four people (23%) diagnosed with cancer in the UK will lack support from family or friends during their treatment and recovery – that represents more than 70,000 people each year.
Macmillan, Facing the Fight Alone: Isolation among cancer patients
(February 2013)

People now live nearly six times longer after their cancer diagnosis than was the case 40 years ago. Macmillan Cancer Support identified median survival times based on research by the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

37% of people with cancer find the whole cancer support system ‘confusing’.  Macmillan, Worried Sick: The emotional impact of cancer (2006)


Nearly half of people with cancer say they experience depression as a result of their cancer – 60% of whom say they did not receive any information, advice support or treatment 
Macmillan, Worried Sick: The emotional impact of cancer (2006)


More than one in every five UK adults is ‘functionally illiterate’, meaning they are unable to read or understand basic printed materials encountered in every day life 
UN Development Programme, Human Development Report 
(2000)

Carers of people with cancer 

Around 1.1 million people in the UK aged 15+ are carers of someone with cancer.  Half of them support a person with cancer currently undergoing treatment. 

Carers are most likely to support a middle-aged person, aged 45–64. Carers are more likely to look after women (61%) and most often support a member of their family. A third of carers say they care for a friend or neighbour. 

Half of all carers say they get no support. ​

Carers of people with cancer give an average of almost 15 hours of support each week and the most common type of support is emotional. This is followed by helping with errands or offering transport. 

Macmillan Cancer Support/Ipsos MORI. More than a Million: Understanding the UK’s carers of people with cancer. 2011.Updated December 2012. 

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