Cancer patients forced to rely on handouts

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CANCER patients who lose or gain weight because of the disease are relying on handouts.

Macmillan Cancer Support revealed 50.6 per cent of cancer patients who received a Macmillan grant in the last 12 months across Tyne and Wear used it to pay for new clothes.

The charity gave one-off payments totalling £68,726 to 525 patients across the area to pay for clothing following a change in body shape due to the effects of cancer and treatment.

Weight loss is a common symptom of cancer, while certain chemotherapy drugs, steroids, and hormonal therapies can cause weight gain.

Chief executive Ciarán Devane said: “The sheer number of cancer patients turning to us for help towards clothing highlights just how much they struggle financially.

“Clothing is one of a number of hidden costs cancer patients are burdened with at a time when their income halves and their outgoings rocket.

“Patients already have to deal with the physical changes to their bodies – they shouldn’t have the added stress of not being able to afford new clothes.”

To donate, visit www.macmillan.org.uk.