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Loneliness Damaging The Lives Of 5,700 Living With Cancer In North Yorkshire

Minster FM News Generic

11:39am 23rd February 2014

Macmillan Cancer Support  has found almost 1 in 4 people living with cancer in North Yorkshire are lonely.

The study estimates 5,700 people in the area are suffering with loneliness after their diagnosis, with some being unable to feed themselves properly.

New research conducted by Ipsos MORI compares the experiences of cancer patients who feel lonely since their diagnosis with those who are not lonely and the differences are severe.

Lonely cancer patients are:

- Three times more likely to drink more alcohol than they usually do - affecting an estimated 1,200 lonely people with cancer in North Yorkshire.

- Almost five times more likely to have not left the house for days - affecting an estimated 3,700 people in North Yorkshire.

- Almost three times more likely to have problems sleeping -affecting an estimated 4,300 people in North Yorkshire.

- Five times more likely to skip meals - affecting an estimated 2,200 people in North Yorkshire.

- Almost eight times more likely to eat a poor diet - affecting an estimated 2,500 people in North Yorkshire.


Harry Banies, 23, from York, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma for the second time in January this year.

For Harry, despite having a strong family and friends support group, he has sometimes struggled to talk to them about cancer. 

Harry who currently works as admin support for Macmillan service teams told MinsterFM: "I'm surrounded by supportive people and I take alot of strength from that but I didn't want to worry them. At times I could feel quite isolated because I kept things to myself.

"It's easier to just say I am 'I'm fine,' rather than talk. My sleep was affected as I tend to go over things in my mind. That is something cancer has taught me - I need to be more open."

Additionally,Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciaran Devane said: "Loneliness is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of cancer patients in the UK. It's hard enough for people being hit with the devastating news that they have cancer, without having to suffer the additional effects.

"It's heartbreaking to think of people struggling to eat or leave the house because they have been abandoned and left to deal with cancer alone.

"We urgently need the NHS, policy makers and local authorities to wake up to this looming loneliness epidemic and work with us to provide these vital services to ensure no one faces cancer alone." 

For cancer support every step of the way call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm) or to make a donation, find out about volunteer opportunities and their online community visit macmillan.org.uk

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