A new survey of 1,000 people living with or beyond cancer in the United Kingdom has revealed that additional support is needed to help those suffering manage the every day impact the disease can have on their daily lives.
Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support conducted the survey and are now hoping to work together in a bid to make it easier for people living with cancer gain access to the right support.
Found in the study, it was revealed that 34% of people would have liked more information about a range of medical, practical, financial and emotional issues from their healthcare team, and stated that unanswered questions about their health had in the past kept them awake at night.
Almost half (49%) don't recall asking their healthcare team about the possible side-effects of treatment on their physical appearance and over a third of this group (35%) say it's because they didn't feel it appropriate to ask. 20% didn't even feel comfortable asking.
Amongst those who did go out to try and gain support and answers to their questions about visible side effects of treatments, almost a quarter (24%) said it boosted their self-confidence, whilst 29% felt more in control and 21% were reassured.
Peter Bainbridge, Director of Pharmacy at Boots UK commented: "Every day in our stores our specially trained Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists and Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are talking to and supporting people affected by cancer. As a result we know first-hand how important it is for them to be able to access the information they need and that we know will make a difference to their everyday lives, in a familiar and trusted environment.
"After five years of working together we, Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, have learned so much from the people we support and our "Here to help you with cancer" Campaign is enabling us to show even more people just how accessible the support they need is, no need for appointments, care and expertise is available on their terms in their local community - when and where they need it."
Macmillan Cancer Support's Director of Services Strategy & Innovation, Jenny Ritchie-Campbell added: "With 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today, it is vital that people have access to the best cancer information and support in their local community. Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists and Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors enable people to have conversations about the wider, practical and emotional issues of cancer, at a time when they need it most, helping them to take back control and feel more like themselves. By working together with Boots, Macmillan will help ensure that no one faces cancer alone."
2013 was the year when Boots UK and Macmillan introduced Beauty Advisors across the UK, and Charlotte Goodacre - one of the advisors based in Plymouth - had first hand experience of the positive impact the role can play.
"I recently helped a lady learn how to apply make up in the right way following treatment and when she returned home her husband and son cried as they were so overwhelmed at how well she looked. They came in store to thank me personally for making a difference to her self-esteem and confidence. It is when you hear stories like this you realise why it is important to make sure that people affected by cancer are receiving the everyday support - no matter how big or small - that is going to make a real difference to their lives."
For further information or support or to find your nearest Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist or Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor visit www.boots.com/en/Macmillan.
Tagged in Cancer