Children with cancer are being bullied, losing friends and risk falling behind at school, research suggests.

It reveals that youngsters with the disease have been bullied by their classmates because they have lost their hair or gained weight – with one even being told that he is going to die.

The illness also significantly disrupts a child's education, according to the report by the CLIC Sargent cancer charity.

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The report found that almost half of parents (47%) said their child had grown apart from their friends.

The same proportion said their child's school did not help to maintain contact with classmates and friends while their son or daughter was off.