5 December 2014
Almost three-quarters (72%) of Scottish cancer patients who need surgery go to the hospital on their own according to new research from Macmillan Cancer Support. The YouGov research on behalf of Macmillan found that 72% of Scots who had surgery had been to at least one of these appointments alone, compared to 61% in the UK. Over half of Scots who had chemotherapy (56%) and radiotherapy (57%), also went to at least one of these appointments alone.
Worryingly, almost a third (31%) of people with cancer who went to at least one cancer-related hospital appointment alone said it was because they didn’t want to burden friends or family, or because the person they wanted to accompany them wasn’t available. Sadly 6% of people with cancer said they had been to a hospital appointment alone because they had no one to ask to go with them.
Janice Preston, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland says: 'It is extremely saddening that cancer patients are facing, what is for many people one of the most frightening experience of their lives, without anyone to support them. Going to surgery or treatment alone can have a devastating impact on patients. Having someone to act as an advocate, asking the doctor the questions they might not have thought to ask because they are too overwhelmed, or to reassure if someone is feeling stressed or anxious can make a frightening time that bit easier.'<?xml:namespace prefix="o">
'If you’re going through cancer, having a friend or relative supporting you, whether that’s cooking you a hot meal or going with you to appointments, makes the world of difference. That’s why Macmillan Cancer Support is urging people to visit The Source, a website with tips for the friends and family of people with cancer so they can offer appropriate support and make sure no one faces cancer alone.'
Macmillan has launched The Source, a website full of tips to help people give someone they know with cancer the support they need, whether that’s going to a hospital appointment with them, helping them access advocacy services or cooking them a hot meal. Visit www.macmillan.org.uk/source
If anyone is, or knows someone who is, lonely and going through cancer, get support by calling 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk
. To help Macmillan ensure no one faces cancer alone donate at www.macmillan.org.uk/Donate