General cancer information

Travel and holidays

General cancer information

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Having cancer doesn't always stop you from travelling or taking holidays. However, there are things you should consider.

Before you make plans to travel, ask your doctor for advice.

Planning to travel

If you are planning a holiday, plan it early and consider the following things:

  • Find out if your doctor thinks you are fit enough to travel.
  • Make sure that going away won’t interfere with your treatment.
  • If you are having treatment, think about any side effects you have, and how they could affect your trip.
  • Ask your doctor whether you have an increased risk of blood clots.
  • Find out what medical care is available where you are going, and what the standard of care is.
  • Find out if you need vaccinations for where you want to travel.
  • Think about how much walking or other exercise you will need to do.
  • Tell the travel agency or airline if you need organise things like a wheelchair, oxygen or a special diet,

You will also need travel insurance. This can be difficult to get following a cancer diagnosis. It may help to get a letter from your specialist to give the insurance company. Make sure you find out what the insurance company will and won’t cover.

While you are away

Things you may need to think about are:

  • Have a letter from your specialist outlining your condition and plan of care, including what medications you are taking.
  • Make sure you have enough of your regular medication for while you are away, and some to spare.
  • Take medication with you to help with any side effects you may get, like pain, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Avoid the risk of infection, especially if you are having treatment or have recently completed it.
  • Protect yourself from the sun as your skin may be more sensitive than usual.
  • Be aware that you may feel tired and fatigued, and plan for rest times.

If you have a choice of holiday locations consider these issues when deciding on where to go.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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