Cancer patients are cutting back on heating, research for the Irish Cancer Society has revealed.
Many cancer patients have reduced income because they are unable to work and, as a result, they are particularly impacted by the soaring cost of living.
Three quarters have reduced what they spend on heating - compared to 60% nationwide.
70% said they have cut back on petrol, while one in five said they had decided not to attend a GP or hospital appointment because of the cost of travelling there.
“They [patients] are cutting down on heating,” Irish Cancer Society Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrogh told Newstalk.
“Some cancer patients have told us that they’re making very, very difficult choices about essential items, such as food and heating and petrol because they simply cannot afford the costs,” she said.
“So, we’re concerned by what this research has found; we’re calling for more action from Government to address the cost of cancer that patients right across the country are facing.”
Geraldine from Lucan said that her ability to earn was hugely impacted by her diagnosis with breast cancer and that she had had to use her savings while being treated.
“I am self-employed and my ability to work was impacted while in treatment,” she said.
“I had to pay for five hours’ parking at a time when I went into the hospital, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it is when other household expenses are piling up and you’re not working.
“We had to dip into savings so that buffer is not there for when you need it in future. Even after treatment, new expenses that you never considered can keep popping up.”
Anyone with cancer who has financial concerns can call the Irish Cancer Society’s Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Main image: A heating thermostat being turned down. Picture by: Kay Roxby / Alamy Stock Photo