Saving money during cancer treatment

There are likely to be significant extra financial costs that you may face as a result of having treatment for cancer. It can be easy to get into debt - especially if you're a student or if you've given up work or had to reduce your hours.

Saving money during cancer treatment

Before you start to look into how to cut down on your expenses, it may help to look at the bigger picture. This way you can prioritise your payments and reduce your risk of building up large debts.

Living on a reduced income

Our podcast, developed with help from the Money Advice Service, offers helpful suggestions about living on a reduced income, including how to reduce costs and budget.

Costs to consider

Travel costs

Your treatment centre may be a long way from your home and involve long-distance travel. There may be added petrol, car parking charges, and you or your family may even need to buy a new or more reliable car to meet your needs. Find out more about travelling for less.


Where cancer treatment takes you miles away from home you may find yourself having to pay out for alternative accommodation.

Some hospitals provide free accommodation for families of people on treatment. CLIC Sargent has eight Homes from Home, close to specialist treatment centres, where your family can stay for free.

You may find that you're paying out for rent on student accommodation at the same time as moving back home until your lease has run out. Find out about Homes from Home and funding and refunds for students.

Increased heating and energy bills

As a result of being unwell you may need to do extra laundry to keep clothes clean. You may also need to put the heating on more regularly if you are feeling colder than usual. Find out about help with living costs.

New clothes

Weight can fluctuate as a result of cancer treatment so you may need additional and more comfortable clothing. Find out about one-off grants and payments and help with living costs.

Additional childcare arrangements

If you are a parent you may need to arrange additional care for children who need looking after and picking up from school, or perhaps your childcare arrangements are no longer the most affordable option. Find out about childcare costs and tax credits.

Extra food costs

Cancer treatment can affect your taste buds or mean that you are hungrier than usual. You may also have different nutritional needs – all of this means that your weekly food bills could end up being far more expensive. Find out about food safety on a budget and eating for less.

Health costs

Even though prescriptions for people having treatment for cancer are free, there may be a range of other health costs that you will need to pay for. Find out about help with health costs.

Home alterations

Cancer and its treatments can often result in limited mobility and you or your family may need to make suitable alterations to your home. Find out about one-off grants and help with living costs.

Travelling abroad for treatment

If you have been approved to travel abroad for high-energy proton beam therapy the NHS will fund your transport and accommodation. The NHS will also cover the costs of car hire, petrol and taxis if necessary when travelling to Switzerland or the USA. However you will need to pay for food, days out or phone calls.

There is more information about travelling abroad for proton beam therapy on the NHS Choices website. CLIC Sargent can also provide a financial grant for those travelling abroad for proton beam therapy.

Updated August 2016, next review due 2017.