CRUK’s cancer patient experience research

We’ve been conducting survey research with cancer patients from across the UK to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their testing, treatment, and care, as well as their day-to-day lives and wellbeing. 

The first CRUK Cancer Patient Experience Survey collected data from 1,868 people in May 2020. We also explored the impact of the pandemic on cancer patients through in-depth, first-hand account of the experiences of 6 cancer patients.

From this first survey, we found that overall, for many cancer patients, the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to have had a significant impact on their testing and treatment, and most notably their care:

  • 2 in 5 cancer patients surveyed reported that their testing had been impacted.
  • 1 in 3 cancer patients surveyed reported that their treatment had been impacted.
  • 2 in 3 cancer patients reported that their cancer care had been impacted.

This had resulted in a negative impact on the emotional well-being of many cancer patients:

  • ‘Anxious’ and ‘frustrated’ were the most common emotions reported.
  • ‘Catching COVID-19’ and ‘becoming seriously ill from COVID-19’ were the most selected concerns.
  • Many cancer patients felt that COVID-19 patients were being prioritised over cancer patients.

You can read the full 2020 Patient Experience Survey report, including individual case studies, by following this link

A second survey launched in December 2020, with targeted recruitment across the devolved nations and of under-represented groups. We expect a full report of these results to be available in the summer, with further research planned for later in 2021.

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