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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis

by Nick Perkins

At Brain Tumour Research we pride ourselves on leading the voice of the community and shining a spotlight on the unfair treatment of those diagnosed with a brain tumour. Out latest insightful report Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis reveals that the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis is more than double that of other cancers. 

Data from our survey highlights that an average household will lose £14,783 per year following a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment vs £6,840 for all cancers.

  • Brain tumour patients and their families face an £11,081 net loss of income 
  • Brain tumour patients face additional costs of nearly £3,702 per year 
  • Brain tumour patients are on average £14,783 worse off per year, whereas for all cancers the average cost is £6,840 per year
Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis details the results of a survey we ran earlier this year, which explored how brain tumour patients and their families are affected financially by the diagnosis. The report will also be submitted to the ongoing Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours being run by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours

We were humbled that 368 people took the time to contribute. We would like to thank each and every one of our respondents for sharing such highly personal and sensitive information in order to help us expose these issues. 

The report also examines various types of financial impact in more detail. One of the reasons that brain tumour patients are worse off is due to losing their driving licence, which dramatically impairs their independence and ability to work. A staggering 75% of respondents who answered that question cited a loss of driving licence while undergoing diagnosis and treatment.  

Brain tumour treatment often requires repeated visits to specialist hospitals over the course of months or, for some patients, years. These specialist hospitals can be a considerable distance away from a patient’s home and the costs of travelling to these appointments can mount rapidly, irrespective of whether patients are using private vehicles (average cost £1,300 per year [excluding parking costs]) or public transport (£1,000 per year) 

Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis then looks at the more hidden costs of brain tumours. The costs of running a household can dramatically increase after a brain tumour diagnosis. Brain tumour patients pay an extra £1,000 per year on household bills. 

The sudden increased expenditure arising from additional living and transportation costs, combined with a fall in income, can very quickly lead families into debt. Debt is one of the most debilitating and enduring, non-physical effects of a brain tumour. Of those who chose to tell us about their experience with debt, 11% reported taking out additional loans or credit card debt, averaging £4,762. 

All these costs add up and the report states that brain tumour patients and their families lose £14,783 per year compared with £6,840 for all cancers. They also lose their driving licence, encounter additional costs as a result of their diagnosis, and face life-limiting physical and psychological challenges. 

Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis concludes by calling on the Government to mitigate the costs the patients and their families experience by:

  • Speed up access to better treatments by stimulating further increases in the national investment for research into brain tumours to £30-35 million per year – to achieve parity with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia. 
  • Giving back quality of life to brain tumour patients and their families, offsetting a loss in income by giving them and their carers additional benefits. 
  • Providing easily accessible financial support to brain tumour patients while they are receiving treatment. 
To get involved in our campaigning work, email and to help fund the costs of producing our reports, donate now.