Breast cancer travel insurance

05:05PM 03/01/2013

Getting travel insurance when you have had cancer is admittedly often more difficult than it would otherwise be, but this is no reason that you shouldn't be able to secure a policy and enjoy a holiday. Regardless of medical conditions, travel insurance is a necessity, as being prepared for the unexpected is the key to having a successful trip.

The longer it has been since your last treatment, check-up or follow-up appointment, the lower your premium is likely to be. With Staysure, for example, if you haven't undergone any of the above in the last two years, your diagnosis will not affect your premium.

Travelling with breast cancer

The key to enjoying your holiday is preparing well. Checking with your doctor that you are fit to travel should be top of the list, before you go ahead and book a trip or take out any travel insurance.

If you get the green light from a medical professional, it is onto the next set of preparations. Getting travel insurance, and taking your policy along with you, should be top of the list, along with getting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you're travelling in Europe.

Think about whether you will have any extra travel needs, and how to accommodate these. For example, help getting on and off trains and early boarding on flights.

Medications are paramount when you are travelling with cancer and it is essential to ensure you have more than enough for the trip. Your doctor will advise you on how much you need to take, but you want to make sure you have enough to last the duration of the trip, as well as surplus that will tide you over if your plane is delayed or something similarly inconvenient should occur. It is also important to get a doctor's note with details of your condition, your treatment and a list of your medicines in case you should need to seek treatment while away.

When should you fly?

Your doctor will tell you whether you are fit to fly or not, but there are a few cases in which it may be best to postpone your trip if it involves flying. If you have had any kind of surgery in the past ten days, including laparoscopy, then you should not board a plane. Furthermore, if you have had surgery to your chest, you cannot fly for four weeks. In addition if, in the past six to 12 months, you have experienced high dose chemotherapy or stem cell transplant, you cannot fly.

Being breathless and anaemic are two other symptoms that will mean your doctor is likely to advise you not to fly.

Taking care when travelling with cancer

If you have or have had cancer and are heading off on a holiday, you are likely to have a few more questions on your mind than other travellers about what you should and should not do while away.

There could be a higher infection risk if you have had some cancer drugs in the past few weeks or have had intensive treatment. This means you need to think carefully about your travel destination and avoid places you suspect could put you at a higher risk of infection.

If you have undergone radiotherapy, you will need to take even more care in the sun than usual, as the skin in the treatment area will remain sensitive for many years. It is essential that the skin in the treatment area is kept covered for the first year, and that you protect it well after that. There are plenty of measures you can take to protect your skin in the sun including wearing close weave cotton clothing, long sleeves and trousers and wearing a hat that shades your face and neck. A strong sun cream to protect you against both UVA and UVB rays is also a necessity.

Some careful planning and discussion in advance with your medical advisors, buying adequate insurance and sorting out your medication, means that you can enjoy a relaxing holiday with peace of mind

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