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Research Shows UK Lacking Long Term Cancer Support

In a new research conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support their findings have shown roughly 2 million individuals are now living with or living after a form of cancer. According to Macmillan this is nearly double the previous estimate at 1.2 million.

The research took place as there was a growing concern that the official records held of people living with cancer with health services only recognising the side effects of cancer and not the long-term impact.

With the research showing around 2 million individuals rather than the prior held figure of 1.2 million there is a case for many of these cancer survivors falling under the radar. The number of cancer cases are continuing to rise while the death toll falls, and with this gap is expectedly to grow considerably over the next decade Macmillan propose local health authorities need to put in place services to meet the long-term needs of those who have had cancer.

They are proposing each cancer survivor should receive a care package that goes above and beyond hospital care. A package would provide emotional, financial and practical support for people living with cancer.

The chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support stated, "The number of cancer survivors is growing every year and failure by Primary Care Trusts to put in place proper resources to care for these people is a ticking time bomb. It is about time the NHS acknowledged that cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence and recognised its long-term impact on people’s lives. ”

How do we class a cancer survivor? The Cancer Reform Strategy defines a cancer survivor as an individual who has had cancer in the past, has completed treatment and has no apparent evidence of active disease or an individual who is living with a progressive disease but is not in the terminal phase of the illness.

Regardless of the definition it is clear to see that more needs to be done to help individuals after such traumatic times. Employers can often help, those who provide their staff with a group critical illness policy provide a level of financial protection should a member of their staff suffer a critical illness. This financial protection tends to be a tax free lump sum, usually a multiple of the individuals salary.

Providing such a benefit can ease the financial burden on the individual and as the employer mitigates your decision to provide a voluntary payment in such cases.

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Istvan Szabo
24/04/2019
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