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National Cancer Survivorship Initiative

Work & Finance

Many people with cancer do not receive the information, advice or rehabilitation support they need to help them return to work.   Information and advice about benefits is not routinely offered leaving some people facing financial hardship.

Financial Problems

The majority of people living with cancer will have some financial trouble as a result.  For example:

  • 92% of people affected by cancer have suffered a loss of income and/or higher costs as a result.  Among under 55s, the average fall in income was 50%
  • 40% of people affected by cancer say that the financial impact of cancer has had a negative impact on their quality of life
  • 77% of cancer patients receive no information about welfare benefits


Over 726,000 people of working age in the UK are living with a cancer diagnosis and another 109,000 people of working age are diagnosed each year. 

People with cancer are protected by the Equality Act (and previously the Disability Discrimination act). This means employees cannot be discriminated against at work because of their cancer.  However, less than half of line managers surveyed in July and August in 2010 were aware of this, meaning employees often do not get the support they need.  For 47% of people with cancer, their employer did not discuss sick pay entitlement, flexible working conditions or work place adjustments with them.

Also, less than 40% of patients in work at the point of diagnosis are advised by health professionals about the impact cancer might have on their ability to work.

Our Work Programme

The Work and Finance Projects are focussed on the following areas:

You can also read about Associated Projects from Macmillan Cancer Support.

Last updated on August 25, 2011