10 February 2015
Almost 3,700 people in Scotland called Macmillan Cancer Support last year for everything from emotional support to financial guidance.
New figures, released by the charity as part of its annual Cancer Talk Week (January 26 - 30), show that 3,699 people contacted the Macmillan Support Line (MSL) in 2014.
More than two thirds (68%) of requests made to the telephone helpline were for clinical information and emotional support while the remaining third were for welfare (24%) or financial guidance queries (8%).
Cancer treatment, welfare and psychological issues topped the subjects covered by MSL’s team of experts, followed by queries about financial concerns, practical support, and pain and symptom management.
John Newlands, a Senior Cancer Information Nurse Specialist based in Glasgow, said: “These figures illustrate just how many people affected by cancer in Scotland are reaching out for our help by calling the Macmillan Support Line - and this is only one of our many services.
“More and more people are surviving cancer and while that is great news, Macmillan know people need a lot of support to cope with the long term impact cancer can have.”
Charlie Gleed, from Edinburgh, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in December 2013.
The 64-year-old, who took early retirement from his job with a courier company at the end of November, contacted the MSL soon after he was diagnosed.
“When I was first diagnosed, I did a lot of research about the disease,” he said. “I called the Macmillan Support Line a couple of times about treatment for prostate cancer because I knew it was something I could implicitly trust for accurate and truthful information.
“I found the nurses really helpful. It is the place to go if you want specific information about your illness.”
Earlier this month, Macmillan revealed there will be a record high of 220,000 people living with cancer in Scotland in 2015 - an increase of almost 33,000 since 2010.
The Macmillan Support Line, which is funded entirely by donations, is open to anyone with questions about cancer.
It is free to call and is staffed by experts who can help with a range of queries - from clinical and treatment information to advice and support relating to money worries. Staff are also there to listen if a caller just wants to talk.
The Macmillan Support Line is available Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm, on 0808 808 00 00