Do you care? Tackle the carers' crisis

2 minute read time.

Almost a million people in England care for a friend or family member with cancer. Looking after a loved one with cancer can be tough, and while it is available, many carers are not getting the support they need.

We want to tell you about Macmillan's new campaign, and why we're calling on the government to ensure cancer carers are identified and get the support they need.

On average, carers of cancer patients give 15 hours of support each week through providing:

- emotional support
- practical tasks like shopping
- collecting prescriptions
- providing transport and company for appointments

Despite their vital role in looking after a family member or friend with cancer, half of carers (49%) receive no support in their role.

Melita and Joe

We spoke to Melita, who knows firsthand how important carers can be. Melita was diagnosed with a tumour in her lung, and her husband Joe was her primary carer.

“Without Joe, I would have had great difficulty getting to the hospital for my treatment, and collecting my medication.  

He is with me every step of the way, comforting, supporting and reassuring me, which is irreplaceable”


Many carers experience the physical, emotional and financial impact of caring for people affected by cancer, but don’t know what support is available to help. 

Joe and Melita sitting

Two out of three carers like Joe don’t know they can get a Carers’ Assessments from their local authority, to see what help they might be entitled to. While only 1 in 20 cancer carers currently receive a Carers’ Allowance which helps them with the financial costs of caring. 

We want carers like Joe get the support they need to care for people with cancer. As the Care Bill makes its way through Parliament, we’re calling on the government to ensure cancer carers are identified and given the information and support they need from day one.

How to help

Take action now and Ask your MP to speak up for cancer cancers during the Care Bill debate.

Watch Joe and Melita's story and other carers' stories in our film.


Get support

While you’re looking after them, who’s looking after you? If you look after someone with cancer, you’re not alone. Visit for help.