Brain tumour patients hit hardest financially

16 October 2018 07:11

Brain tumour patients lose out on an average of £15,000 a year.

Brain tumour patients lose out on an average of £15,000 a year.

Patients with brain tumours lose out on almost £15,000 per year, a new report has revealed.

According to the study by the charity, Brain Tumour Research, this figure is more than twice as much as patients with other forms of cancer can expect to lose out on.

After they're diagnosed, the report found that the most significant cost for patients is loss of income.

The charity is now calling for authorities to do more to prevent the financial penalties, loss of independence, and the feeling of isolation that compounds the poor prognoses endured by patients.

Additional costs

The report found that brain tumours stop 75% of patients from driving, with 23% losing their jobs as a result. Those that had licences reinstated had to wait an average of seven months for them to be reissued.

The average loss of salary is £15,848, with £4,767 being paid out in benefits. Other additional annual costs outlined in the report are an average spend of £1,582 on travel, £881 on home modifications, £544 on medicine and £226 on childcare.

David Todd, a brain tumour patient from Bangor in Northern Ireland, said: "It is difficult to convey just how much our lives have been changed by my diagnosis.

"One of the hardest things has been having to hand back my driving licence and also the wider impact the diagnosis has had on our family."

Mr Todd, who worked in the tile and bathroom industry, had recently started his own business with his wife. However, he was forced to shut it down just weeks after it opened because of his diagnosis.

"The uncertainty over my future and the disruption caused by multiple hospital appointments just meant it was not viable to continue," he said.

Faster access

The report calls on the Government to speed up access to better treatments for brain tumours by increasing spending on research to between £30 million and £35 million to "achieve parity with other cancers, such as breast cancer and leukaemia".

The Government should also offset the lost income of patients and carers and make extra financial support more easily accessible, the report adds.

It is part of the charity's submission to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours Inquiry into the impact of the cancer. The Milton Keynes-based charity's report was based on a survey of 368 people.

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