Lung cancer affects 1 in 13 men and 1 in 17 women during the course of their lives. It is the third most common form of cancer in the UK and 130 cases are diagnosed every day. Though it’s a common disease, there is still a lot that people don’t know about how to deal with it. In this blog, we’re going to look at the implications of travelling when you have been diagnosed.
If you’re thinking of travelling within the UK or abroad if you have been diagnosed it’s best to check with your doctor or a specialist nurse before you make any plans. They are best placed to give you the best advice you need. They will let you know whether the treatment you are receiving or your cancer makes it unsafe to travel. They will also give help you to understand what you will need to consider if you’re planning a trip abroad. Think about your destination and whether it is suitable. Take into account how far you’ll have to walk, how tired you get when you walk and other factors like the length of your flight.
Taking medicines abroad
If you take regular medicines, make sure you have enough to last you the whole trip, even if you are delayed for a couple of days. Always take a letter from your doctor which outlines what drugs you are taking and what type of treatment you have been getting. Carry all medicines in your hand luggage in their original packaging so that customs officers can see what you have with you.
Some cancer treatments can make your skin more sensitive to damage from the sun. Speak to your doctor to see if your treatment will affect you and any extra precautions you have to take in the sun.
Taking oxygen on a flight
If you are suffering from breathlessness, it can be helped by oxygen. Speak to your doctor about whether you would have to take a fitness to fly test. Speak to your airline before flying to see what their policy is on carrying oxygen and whether a fee is involved. Your doctor will be able to advise you about where to get oxygen for your flight and if you need it when you’re away. You can get fitness to fly tests from your NHS hospital or from independent hospitals such as The LOC.
When you are applying for travel insurance be prepared to answer questions relating to your cancer diagnosis, the stage of your lung cancer and what type of treatment you are receiving. Specialist insurance companies are available to assist people who have been diagnosed with cancer and other pre-existing medical conditions.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- If you have had chemotherapy, do you know what combination of drugs was given to you? Ask your doctor if you are unsure of this information.
- Have you had surgery and what type? Pneumonectomy, Wedge resection or Lobectomy?
- What follow up care are your receiving?
- You may need a letter from your doctor stating your diagnosis and that you are fit to travel.
- If you need any specialist equipment and whether you need to take it with you.