Cancer carers 'need more support'
Published on 27 January 2012 12:00 PM
More support must be made available for people who are caring for a loved one with cancer, experts have said.
There are 1.1 million people in the UK looking after someone with the disease, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
The group estimates that around half of these carers are not getting any support, leading to the risk of emotional and financial problems.
Almost half of those who care for a loved one with cancer will experience mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression, while one in eight suffers physical issues such as sleep and digestive problems.
The report also highlights the financial burden on carers, with one in seven facing money issues including extra travel costs and having to give up work.
A Carer's Assessment, carried out by local authorities, can offer practical, emotional and financial help to carers.
But Macmillan found that only 5% of carers have undergone such an assessment, leaving many of them without the support they need.
Macmillan chief executive Ciaran Devane said: 'Carers want to look after their family or friend with cancer - but it is often at the expense of their own mental or physical health.
'Cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence and this means there is a growing need for people to care for their family member or friend with cancer. Often this is long-term care. But carers need support to cope with the significant demands of their role.'
Copyright Press Association 2012