Money People Online Money People Online

Search MoneyPeopleOnline:

31% of cancer patients lose over £10,000 in income

New research by insurance provider Guardian 1821 reveals around one third of cancer patients have lost £10,000 or more in income

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 8 September 2023

3 min read

31% of cancer patients lose over £10,000 in income

In new research sponsored by insurance provider Guardian 1821, it’s been found that around one third of cancer patients lost £10,000 or more in income. This is due to having to change their work schedules around treatment and recovery following their diagnosis.

This is a significant amount of people who have faced financial difficulty due to a cancer diagnosis. These figures include both the patients themselves and family members who have needed time off work to support their recovery.

As we all know, the NHS has struggled recently in terms of supporting cancer patients and the extensive waiting times following the pandemic. This has improved slightly within the last year but there is still a lot left to be done to fully support those undergoing cancer treatment.

What were the findings of this study?

This research was carried out by the UK charity Young Lives vs Cancer who surveyed and interviewed 259 people. The people spoken to were:

  • Adults 18-26 who have had cancer care/treatment within the last 2 years
  • Parents/caregivers of children and young people (under 27 years old) with cancer

The results showed that 70% of people surveyed lost over £6,000 in earnings on average per year. 31% (around one third) of people asked reported having lost £10,000 or more in income due to needing time off work.

UK Cancer statistics

Here are some key statistics about cancer in the UK, provided by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Number of people in the UK living with cancer: 3 million (estimate)

Estimate for people living with cancer in 2025: 3.5 million

Estimate for people living with cancer in 2030: 4 million

Estimate for people living with cancer in 2040: 5.3 million

Cancer cases diagnosed in the UK:

CountryPer yearPer monthPer weekPer day
England327,200 cases27,300 cases6,300 cases900 cases
Scotland33,200 cases2,760 cases640 cases90 cases
Wales20,100 cases1,670 cases390 cases60 cases
Northern Ireland (NI)10,200 cases850 cases200 cases30 cases
UK391,000 cases32,500 cases7,500 cases1,100 cases

There are various benefits and support schemes available to help support people struggling with money due to a cancer diagnosis. There are also benefits that can be claimed to support carers of people with cancer, as well as the patients themselves.

You could be entitled to benefits and support like:

There is a full list of resources on the Macmillan Cancer Support website which can offer further help and resources. This includes a list of helpful contacts and several great worksheets with more detailed information.

How can I protect myself against loss of income?

Many of us worry about how we would cope financially if we became seriously ill with a condition like cancer. Luckily, there are several insurance policies available that can provide financial support in this situation:

  • Income protection insurance – these policies typically cover around 60% of your pre-tax income and will pay out a monthly income (if you are signed off work for 4 or more weeks)
  • Critical illness cover – this works similarly, but pays out a cash lump sum on diagnosis rather than a monthly income
  • Private health insurance – these policies are designed to help cover the cost of private medical care and often lead to faster diagnosis compared to NHS services

Note: Always consider your options carefully before committing to a new insurance policy. We would recommend researching all your options before making any decisions. For more advice and support, you can speak to an insurance expert about any questions you have.

Related articles

Below are some useful MPO articles and guides that you may find helpful if looking for additional financial support and insurance products:

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up today for all the best deals and helpful guides. Take control of your finances the MoneyPeople way!