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Cancer Patients In Dorset Suffering Loneliness


8:27am 21st February 2014

More than 1 in 5 people living with cancer in Dorset are suffering from extreme loneliness according to the charity Macmillan.

Figures out today show a growing number with the disease go for days without a visitor and are likely to skip meals and even turn to alcohol.

Macmillan Cancer Support estimate 6,500 people have cancer in Dorset. They say people most likely to feel lonely include those with advanced cancer, those living alone and those who have made a change to their working life.

People living alone are especially vulnerable and some may find it hard to cook for themselves and get supplies in.

New research reveals the detrimental impact of being lonely on the lives of people living with cancer. It compares the experiences of cancer patients who say they feel lonely since their diagnosis, with those who aren't .... The differences are stark.

Lonely cancer patients in Dorset are;

- Three times more likely to drink more alcohol than they usually do (22% vs. 7%)
- Almost five times more likely to have not left the house for days (66% vs. 14%)
- Almost three times more likely to have problems sleeping (76% vs. 27%)

For many, their diet also suffers. Lonely cancer patients are
- Five times more likely to skip meals (38% vs. 7%)
- Almost eight times more likely to eat a poor diet (45% vs. 6%)

Macmillan Cancer Support are urging the local health authority to help;

"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 or visit our online community. To make a donation or find out about volunteering opportunities, visit macmillan.org.uk

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