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Cancer patients 'reliant on fuel aid'

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A cancer charity has helped an increasing number of patients pay their fuel bills over the last five years as more and more people struggle to heat their homes due to rising costs.

Macmillan Cancer Support revealed it helped 12,669 cancer patients deemed to be in fuel poverty at a total cost of more than £2.5 million this year, substantially higher than the £1.4 million paid out to 7,369 people in 2006.

It has called on the government to prioritise cancer patients for help with their rising cost of utilities.

Macmillan’s campaign manager Laura Keely said: “To feel too scared to put the heating on because of soaring energy bills is an unacceptable reality for thousands of vulnerable cancer patients who feel the cold more and spend long periods of time at home.

“When the charity was established 100 years ago, founder Douglas Macmillan helped cancer patients by handing out sacks of coal to keep them warm.

“It is shocking that a century on, people who are diagnosed with this devastating disease are still relying on charity help to heat their freezing homes.”

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