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14 February 2013 08:53
Around a quarter of cancer patients feel cut off from family and friends, a charity says
Almost a quarter (23%) of cancer patients feel isolated from family and friends, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. The charity said there is a lack of support for the patients in treatment and recovery, and isolation can be shattering on people living with the disease.
Researchers said family and friends are often "too busy" or live too far away. One way patients can ease their concerns, particularly regarding travel to see friends or family, is through taking out
cancer travel insurance.
Macmillan's survey of 1,700 patients showed depression hit nearly one third of isolated patients, with many leaving out meals through lack of support and others being unable to carry out chores without assistance. The charity also polled 150 health professionals who revealed they have had patients missing treatment completely as they had no support.
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of the charity, said: "This research shows that isolation can have a truly shattering impact on people living with cancer. Patients are going hungry, missing medical appointments and even deciding to reject treatment altogether which could be putting their lives at risk - all because of a lack of support."
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Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
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Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
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More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
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Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
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