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Diagnosis Financial Impact


New research reveals how many people are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis.


For one in three, a cancer diagnosis is a ‘financial wrecking ball’

More than a third of people with cancer (39%) are financially impacted by their diagnosis[i].

Research also shows that two in five (40%) of working people diagnosed with cancer have either lost their job or left work since being diagnosed[ii]. On top of a reduced income, a cancer diagnosis can mean the extra expenses of getting to hospital appointments and higher heating bills.

Covid has made many people financially insecure, and that includes people with cancer who are already vulnerable. We’ve noticed that calls to our financial guidance team on our Support Line have increased dramatically. In fact, those calls are now 32% higher than during the first month of lockdown[iii].

Voices from the frontline

Sophia, diagnosed with breast cancer

“When you’re given the diagnosis, you don’t necessarily know timeframes and when I found out I needed more treatment than expected and would need to take more time off work, I soon used up all my holiday and sick leave allowance.”

Fergus Murphy, Group Personal Director at Virgin Money

“We’re working closely with Macmillan and will have a dedicated team of specially trained colleagues working with Macmillan’s financial guidance team to ensure anyone who needs specialist support is put directly through to the Macmillan team there and then.”

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support

“At Macmillan, we hear from people living with cancer every day who are desperately worried about their finances – from worrying about paying their mortgage or putting food on the table, to holding off on switching the heating on when they need it and sitting at home chilled to their bones. It’s no exaggeration to say that receiving the life-changing news that you have cancer, for some people, is nothing short of a financial wrecking-ball.”

We want to soften the blow

Please help us as we kickstart Macmillan’s partnership with Virgin Money and London Marathon, so we can be there for even more people with cancer right from day one. We want to help with every aspect of people’s lives from treatment to finances, and everything in between.

Let’s get started

Next year’s Virgin Money London Marathon will be held 3rd October 2021 and the ballot is now open until 5pm Friday 9th October. Runners can find out more about joining #TeamMacmillan and the Everyone From Day One campaign.

Anyone worried about their finances can speak to the Financial Guidance team on Macmillan’s Support Line (0808 808 00 00). The Financial Guidance service is available Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm.


[i] Macmillan Cancer Support/Truth survey of 1,329 adults who have received a cancer diagnosis. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th January and 7th February 2020. The survey was carried out online. Sample is weighted to represent national population of people who have received a cancer diagnosis in terms of demographics (age, gender, region) and cancer type/time since diagnosis using prevalence data.

[ii] As per ref i. 49% of respondents were in some form of employment immediately before being diagnosed.

[iii] Internal data. Refers to 27th July-26th August inclusive. Total number of calls answered in this period by the Financial Guidance team on the Macmillan Support Line was 814. Please note this does not represent all calls answered by the Support Line during this period.  The total number of calls answered by the Financial Guidance team between 23rd March and 22nd April inclusive was 616.