About the Real Cost of Cancer campaign

Cancer patients and their families face a financial crisis while they are going through their treatment, according to the results of a 2015 report published based on research we commissioned called ‘The Real Cost of Cancer’.

Survey on the Real Cost of Cancer

Man looking worried with family in background

The Irish Cancer Society knows that a cancer diagnosis comes with massive additional costs.

In 2019, we will publish the results of our second Real Cost of Cancer survey to highlight the voices of over 500 cancer patients in Ireland.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this survey. Your participation will help the Irish Cancer Society identify what supports cancer patients need from Government, employers, the HSE and the National Cancer Control Programme.

This is vital information to advocate for change that will reduce the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis.

If you have been affected by the real cost of cancer but didn’t get to take part in this survey, you can share your story here.

About the Real Cost of Cancer

A large number of patients face a severe drop in income while at the same time running up extra bills on a range of items such as home heating, parking, childcare, travel, prescription charges, hospital stays, over-the-counter drugs, consultant visits, dental care, physiotherapy as well as clothing and personal care.

The average extra spend per month for a cancer patient in 2015 was €862, even for patients with a medical card or private health insurance, according to the survey.

Those who couldn’t work, worked less or lost income as a result of having cancer faced an income drop averaging €1,400 a month, or €16,750 per year.

See our infographic on the main findings of the 2015 research. Four years on, the Irish Cancer Society will launch its second research report on the real cost of cancer at the end of 2019. 

If you are affected by cancer and have financial worries, please call the Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700 or email cancernurseline@irishcancer.ie.

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