Half of women with ovarian cancer face financial hardship, according to Target Ovarian Cancer’s most recent Pathfinder Study. Further hardship also hits with 22 per cent of women facing financial hardship having partners or close family members who had reduced working hours in order to help with their care.
Further statistics in the study include:
- Of the women with ovarian cancer facing hardship, 53 per cent have seen a rise in their daily bills, as a result of their diagnosis or treatment
- In addition, 52 per cent have had to give up work
- Four in ten (45 per cent) found it difficult to enter into correspondence and fill out financial forms when they were unwell
- Those who faced financial hardship are significantly more likely to have difficulties getting their life back on track after treatment (62 per cent vs 47 per cent of women with no financial difficulty), and overall they had the greatest emotional support needs (83 per cent vs 53 per cent)
Target Ovarian Cancer’s Pathfinder Study is the only study of its kind, tracking the experience of those living and working with ovarian cancer in the UK. This most recent iteration is the first time women were asked about their financial needs. The charity is releasing this further analysis of the study to coincide with the last week of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (March).
Sharon Tyler, from Grimsby, who has ovarian cancer, said: “When I was first diagnosed in 2009, I initially received sick pay from my employer, but I couldn’t get any financial support once this ended. I struggled to find out what I was entitled to and even the advisor on the government helpline didn’t understand the letter they sent me. My cancer has returned, but this time I’ve had better advice and have been able to claim the support I’m entitled to."
Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “The financial implications of ovarian cancer are often overlooked. We welcome the recent changes to work capability assessments for cancer patients on the Employment and Support Allowance, but we call on all those involved in the care of women with ovarian cancer to help them get access to good quality financial advice at this most stressful time. It is vital that women receive the support they need, across all aspects of their lives.”