Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients in England are missing out on basic information about their diseases because of staff shortages in the NHS, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
The charity said at least 120,000 patients a year felt topics including treatments and side effects were not fully explained.
It blamed increasing staffing pressures, which left people “in the dark” about how to prepare.
The poll of 70,000 people who have undergone cancer treatment found 39% said the longer-term side-effects of treatment were not fully explained. Macmillan said this equated to about 120,000 a year.
A quarter of people also said they did not have the possible side-effects explained prior to the start of treatment.
One in five said there were not always enough nurses on duty to care for them.
Macmillan said without this information and support, patients may feel uncertain about treatment, feel forced to give up a job or feel unsure about how to prepare for the impact cancer might have on them physically, financially and emotionally.
An NHS England spokesman told NNC News that cancer survival rates and patient satisfaction levels with their cancer care were at record highs.
He claimed the vast majority of patients were given the name of a clinical nurse specialist to support them through their treatment.