ONLY those living with cancer and its uncertainties or their families can truly understand the effects of the disease.

As well as the medical treatment patients have to undergo to fight the disease there are all sorts of other issues those suffering from the illness must endure.

Being diagnosed with cancer must in itself be devastating for the individual concerned and their family but when it comes to how to deal with the practicalities of life people often feel stranded and alone.

But now it has been revealed that charity Maggie’s plans to build a new £5m hub at Southampton General Hospital providing patients with all the vital lifelines they need for free.

Maggie’s is named after Maggie Keswick Jencks, a Scottish woman who was diagnosed with terminal bone and liver cancer in 1993.

After coming to terms with her illness, she was determined to help others deal with the diagnosis and overcome mental stress for sufferers and their families as well as the practical issues that come with it such as finances and employment.

The charity needs to raise £5m to cover capital costs for the centre as well as running the centre for the first two years and it is currently setting up a board to oversee a fundraising campaign.

If the centre gets the go-ahead it will help to keep Southampton at the forefront of the fight to beat cancer.