Posted on Tuesday 15 October 2019

in News

New research published by CLIC Sargent reveals that nearly half of young cancer patients are more worried about debt since their diagnosis

Research published by CLIC Sargent looking into the banking experiences of young people with cancer has revealed that nearly half (44%) are more worried about borrowing money and debt since being diagnosed.

The research briefing , Banking and Finance Experiences of Young People With Cancer: The results of a snapshot research project, found that half (50%) of young people with cancer who took part in the research have or occasionally have debt and 20% worry about paying their debt back. Download the report:

“Debt is an everyday part of my survival. I constantly worry about how to pay it back and have anxiety about it and it impacts my depression.”

A young person with cancer

Research also revealed that two thirds of young cancer patients (66%) financially struggled at any point during cancer, citing extra financial burdens during treatment such as travel costs. This extra financial cost comes at a time when income goes down, with young people often being forced to take time off work, which means many use loans, overdrafts or savings to get by.

The briefing also revealed that only 4% were aware that their bank could help them and only 2% had used such help. None of the participants had informed their banks that they were ill. This was despite nearly half (48%) of respondents saying cancer had impacted their ability to use banking services. Many cited physical issues such as fatigue, cognitive issues and risk of infection as barriers.

Responding to the new findings, Helen Gravestock, Head of Research, Policy & Campaigns, at CLIC Sargent, said: “These findings show the stark reality of financial pressures for young people with cancer. For them, and their families, cancer really does cost. On average families spend an extra £600 a month during treatment and these worries continue long after treatment has ended with many falling into debt.

“We encourage banks to ensure their support for this group is flexible to the needs of the individual, extending beyond the treatment period where needed, and includes financial support for the whole family. Many young people would benefit from their bank or financial institution highlighting the support they can offer customers in vulnerable circumstances.

“We continue to campaign to reduce the costs of cancer, in particular for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund so families can afford to travel for treatment. We will also look for ways to work with banks so that charities like us are equipped to provide information on the support available, such as promoting vulnerable customer policies.”

Take a look at this and other research reports.

Notes to editors

For more information, an interview or images, please contact Layla Haidrani on email or call 020 8752 2812

About the study

Ragdoll research (an independent research agency) was commissioned to carry out research exploring financial attitudes and banking use of young people with cancer. An online survey with young people was conducted between Jan-April 2018. 50 young people responded. 80% were in remission, whilst 16% were currently experiencing cancer. A longitudinal online panel – a kind of online focus group whereby participants answer questions and add comments over a period of time – (LOP) took place between 26 July and 1 August 2018, using participants recruited from the sample used in the quantitative stage. Nine young people took part in this. They had been diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 14 to 22 years old, and were aged 21 to 29 years old when taking part in the survey and the LOP.

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent

When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit

Note to sub editors

Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.


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