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NEW SURVEY SHOWS, 1 IN 3 CANCER PATIENTS IN THE UK CURRENTLY UNDERGOING TREATMENT AREN’T AWARE OF VITAL SUPPORT SERVICES

BySarahWallace

Mar 10, 2022 #Cancer, #charity

The Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund is working with North East based organisations to reach the “forgotten” thousands.

A new survey suggests that almost half (49%) of cancer patients who said they have needed additional support are often not able to access the vital care and support services that can have a direct impact on their clinical outcomes[1] including those in the North East.

The new research by The Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund (RDCF) has revealed:

  • Over a third of those surveyed (39%) either weren’t aware of or can’t recall being told about additional help available such as counselling, financial support and transport services
  • Only half of those surveyed (48%) who felt that they needed additional support after their diagnosis were often able to access help when they needed it.[2]

In 2018 the charity launched Cancer Care Map (www.cancercaremap.org), a free, simple to use, online directory of cancer support services to help people living with cancer find the help they need, wherever they are in the UK. It currently has 76 number of cancer support organisations in the North East offering everything from psychological and emotional support, health and wellbeing services, to financial advice and support, and practical help.  This includes local hairdressers, counselling services, gyms, transportation services and much more.

Over the last 12 months more than 100,000 people have visited the website to search for cancer support and during the last three months of 2021, 1,255 people in the North East visited the website to look for support.

Currently 1,000 people a day across the UK are using the site, but the charity, which is funded solely through public donations, legacies and grants, still has a lot of work to do to ensure it reaches everyone living with or affected by cancer in the UK.

In addition, the research findings highlighted:

  • A third of those surveyed (33%) don’t feel able to talk to their GP about worries and concerns after finishing their cancer treatment

Jonathan Dimbleby, RDCF Chair, who had the original idea for Cancer Care Map, says: “This survey reveals a fact that has agitated me for years. When you are diagnosed with cancer it is a moment of extreme anxiety. After you’ve had your clinical treatment you almost always need support for weeks, months and even years ahead. This can take many forms: emotional, practical and financial. The sole purpose Cancer Care Map, which is supported by the NHS, is to provide the information you need to help you through this testing journey.

“The NHS is massively overstretched, and vulnerable people across the region in particular are still nervous about going into GP surgeries for face-to-face consultations or struggling to get online to appointments due to backlogs. The recent Government announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care for a 10 year ‘war on cancer’ is important, but makes no mention of the need to provide care and support to cancer patients and their families. Mercifully, early diagnosis and ever improving treatments mean that more and more people are cured or live with cancer and for longer. These individuals need support.  Our research shows that many, many people are missing out on this. Cancer Care Map allows anyone to find out what support is available to them close to where they live. All it takes is the click of a button.”

Newcastle born, Greg Wise, actor, producer and star of Strictly Come Dancing, is an Ambassador for the charity, and adds: “As it takes a village to raise a child, so, too, is a village needed to support those going through cancer. I know first-hand, having been the full-time carer for my sister, how essential it was for us both to know that we had medical, logistical and emotional support. Living with cancer and caring for someone with cancer can feel so terribly isolating, so a support network is a godsend. But what is so desperately sad is that so many people are unaware of the help that is available for them and their families. The help is there, in the shape of the Cancer Care Map. At the touch of a button you find you are not alone, but connected to and supported by an extraordinary web of care. Whatever your needs, wherever you are – thousands of outfits, ranging across the NHS and the voluntary sector are there for you. You are not alone.”

Errol Hall, 55, from Wandsworth in South West London was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 and he struggled to find the support until he was put in touch with a local support group in his area. Errol now volunteers as a facilitator for a prostate cancer support group. He says, “I didn’t know where to get the support at the time. But through looking online I found Paul’s Cancer Support Centre. It gave me the opportunity to speak to people who all were going through cancer treatment which really helped me. It makes a big difference when you’re feeling isolated.”

Emily Mckeown, 45, from Liverpool was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. She says, “When you’re first diagnosed, there is a lot of information to take on board and you get given lots of details and lots of information, and it can be overwhelming. You go home and you’ve forgotten about things, or you’re not sure you can remember. Cancer Care Map is an excellent resource: to be able to centralise everything and just see what’s available. I wish it had been there was I was first diagnosed.”

Co-Director of the charity Robin Pritchard says, “We hear from people every week who are either in the middle of treatment themselves, or supporting a partner or friend. They are really struggling – emotionally, financially or with practical issues – and they feel completely alone and unsupported because they don’t know about the help that is out there. They don’t know where to turn. We know the support is there, but we need to help people find it when they need it. Cancer Care Map is a really simple way to find that support.”

To find out more about the medical, health and wellbeing, emotional and practical services that could be available to help you or someone you know, visit cancercaremap.org.

ENDS

 

Pic ref: Cancer Care Map.jpg

For more information on this release contact: Sarah Wallace on 07870210025 or sarah@bluebirdpr.co.uk

 

Notes to editor

About Cancer Care Map

Cancer Care Map is an online directory that helps people find cancer care and support services in their local area. Anyone living with or affected by cancer, including friends and family, can search for local and national support wherever they are in the UK, including charities, community based support and NHS services.

Cancer Care Map joins up care services to make sure that no person goes unsupported because they are not aware of the help available to them. It is aimed at helping people living with cancer, their carers and family members, as well as healthcare professionals looking to signpost support.

The Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund was founded in 1966 following the death of Broadcaster Richard Dimbleby. Its work includes the establishment of the Dimbleby Cancer Care support services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, the Richard Dimbleby Cancer Research Fund, and the launch of Cancer Care Map in 2018.

YouGov Survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 500 adults who have had cancer, including 195 who have had cancer and who needed additional support. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd – 29th December 2021.  The survey was carried out online.

 

 

 

 

[1] Figure includes those who responded that they sometimes, rarely or never were able to access additional support when they needed it, compared with those who were always or mostly able to.

[2] Figure includes those who responded that they were mostly or always able to access additional support when they needed it, compared with those who said that they sometimes, rarely or never were able to access it.