A Long Way From Home
The impact of travel on children and young people with cancer
CLIC Sargent’s new report A Long Way From Home: The impact of travel on children and young people with cancer, published 7 December 2010, highlights the impact of travelling long distances for cancer treatment for children and young people aged up to 18 years-old. It explains how travelling can exacerbate the other challenges a cancer diagnosis can create for children, young people and their families. The report makes a number of recommendations aimed at minimising some of the impacts caused by travelling long distances for treatment while not jeopardising the safe and effective treatment of children and young people’s cancer.
Travelling to treatment
Specialist treatment centres are often far from home which can mean regular long distance travel or staying away from home, sometimes for months on end. Using the data of 10,000 children and young people supported by CLIC Sargent, new research in this report finds that:
- 77% of childhood cancer patients do not live in a city with a principal treatment centre.
- 42% of children, young people and their families make round trips of over 50 miles when undergoing treatment at a principal treatment centre.
- The average round trip distance travelled (by road) by children, young people and their families is 60 miles.
- This makes the average round trip journey approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes.
We know that children, young people and families affected by childhood cancer face significant emotional, practical and social difficulties. However, A Long Way From Home highlights how travel to and from treatment centres can make coping even more difficult for young cancer patients and their families, creating additional challenges while exacerbating existing ones.
CLIC Sargent believes that more could be done to minimise some of the impacts caused by travelling long distances for treatment while still ensuring the safe and effective treatment of children and young people with cancer.
We will be sharing the findings of this report with our supporters in Parliament and continue to campaign to ensure children and young people with cancer and their families receive the support they need to cope with the many impacts of a cancer diagnosis.