Parents of children with cancer are being forced to borrow money to cover costs while their youngster has treatment, according to research.
A survey for the charity CLIC Sargent found families struggling to meet the extra expense of accommodation, childcare, food and travel.
Some 66% of 245 parents surveyed said they were borrowing money to make ends meet and 76% said extra costs were having a major impact on family finances.
More than two in five (42%) were borrowing on a credit card, while 20% had taken out a loan.
More than one in 20 (6%) had turned to high interest, short-term payday loans to cope with additional costs.
Of those in debt, 41% had borrowed more than £1,000 to fund extra costs while 27% borrowed more than £2,000.
Some 65% of parents had experienced a loss of earnings as a result of their child's illness and 58% had to reduce their working hours.
Cancer-related expenses every month amounted to more than £360 on average.
Lorraine Clifton, chief executive of CLIC Sargent said: "Everyone is suffering in this economic climate but parents of children with cancer are amongst the hardest hit. The extra costs can be significant.
"It's shocking to hear that some families felt driven to debt in order to get through financially."
© 2011 Press Association