Travel Insurance for Cancer Patients
It is essential to have travel insurance if you are a cancer sufferer. As a result of your condition you may have to be brought home, or have treatment abroad, in an emergency or if you become ill. Sometimes this can cost an arm and a leg but with our specialist cancer travel insurance you can travel with piece of mind.
How easy is it to get travel insurance with cancer?
Sometimes finding travel insurance for people with cancer can be difficult because some insurers will be reluctant to offer cover because of the increased likelihood that cancer patients will make a claim on their policy.
Insure Direct has access to a number of providers who are specialists in medical travel insurance and as such, can provide annual or single trip cancer travel insurance to worldwide destinations for those travelling with cancer.
The online quote engine will ask questions about your cancer diagnosis, the severity of your condition and your prognosis. With our panel of providers you can get cover even if you are terminal cancer patient (subject to the length of the prognosis).
Once you have provided information about your cancer, you will be presented with a number of quotations from our panel of medical travel insurance providers who are able to offer you cover. It is then up to you to choose the quote which you feel best suits your needs. If you need a helping hand you can call us on 01592 640011.
Should I still buy medical travel insurance if I have recovered from cancer?
As you may already know, you may still have difficulty in finding travel insurance even if you are a cancer survivor. Even if you are in remission, you may still require specialist medical travel insurance.
You must disclose your medical history honestly and in full when obtaining travel insurance. If you fail to disclose any relevant details about a condition, even if you have recovered, this can mean that any insurer may refuse to pay a claim.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
In addition to travel insurance for cancer patients, you should always carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling to a country within Europe, You can apply for a card online here.
Talk to a medical professional
No matter what age you are, when travelling with cancer it is important to talk to a medical professional. They may be able to make suggestions on when is best to travel, as well as help decide what is realistic for you based on your personal circumstances.
It is advisable to start planning at least 4 to 6 weeks before you are due to travel. You should ensure that you travel with a medical summary that includes the following:
Recent and ongoing treatment
Photocopy of recent chemotherapy/radiotherapy summary
Contact details (including family members, General Practitioner, Oncology team)
Lots of people travelling with cancer will have little or no impact on their holiday. However, it is important to think about the arduousness of the journey and how many stopovers there are. Please consider the following tips;
On some occasions it may be necessary to advise a delay to the planned journey if you have recently completed, are currently undergoing, or due to start certain treatments e.g. chemotherapy. Do not automatically cancel your holiday; however, as quite often simple re-arrangements can be made to allow a holiday to take place. In some cases Radiotherapy can be planned before the holiday and started on return – this doesn’t delay the treatment because there may well be a week or so gap between the planning and start.
You may want to understand more about the standard and provision of healthcare in the destination country. A good point of contact would be the relevant High Commission, Embassy or Consulate. If there is concern that the destination is a country or area lacking in suitable medical facilities, it may be wise to consider an alternative that has a better standard of healthcare. If the destination is remote (even in a developed country) then healthcare is likely to be more basic, which should also be a consideration.
You should be very cautious of any alternative therapies while you are travelling. Some herbal remedies may contain substances that interact with prescribed medication. You should always check with your cancer specialist before you go.
Problems directly linked to a patient’s cancer are rare. However, there is neither the skill nor the facilities on commercial aircraft to care for seriously ill people for any extended period of time, and airline staff may refuse to carry passengers whom they feel are too unwell to travel. You may want to clarify:
If it is possible to check-in or board the plane earlier
Whether a wheelchair could be made available (and any charges relating to this service)
What medical equipment (if any) will be allowed on the aircraft.
People with cancer, particularly some types of lung, stomach and bowel cancer, have a higher risk of DVT, so the length of your flight should be considered. See your doctor before you travel and read NHS tips on preventing flight-related DVT, which include exercises and compression stockings.
In some cases, you may not be able to have the required vaccinations for the intended destination. Live vaccines are best avoided in patients who have a weakened immune system (this includes lymphoma, leukaemia, chemotherapy within previous 6 months; stem cell/bone marrow transplant within previous 6 months). If you’ve had chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, you may have lost your immunity to diseases that you were previously vaccinated against. Therefore, you may need new jabs. You should always check with your GP.
If you are taking any cancer medication and are planning to travel with your cancer medication, you ensure you know how much you need to take with you and get those prescriptions before you go (ensuring you have an extra supply in case you lose any). Some cancer drugs may leave you susceptible to infection for several weeks after treatment, and you should factor this into your planning.
Keep all medications in original packaging
Travel with your original prescription
Keep a list of all your medicines (including the generic names) and doses in your purse or wallet, just in case you lose any of them or you run out.
Find out if you need a letter from your GP explaining to customs officers your need to carry certain medicines, syringes or portable medicine pumps. Some GPs charge for writing a letter, so if you travel frequently, ask them to write it in such a way that it can be used more than once.
Check with a pharmacist what the availability of a particular medication in the country of destination is. It is worth noting that brand names of drugs often differ abroad.
If you need to keep medicines cool, buy a small cool bag from a pharmacy for the journey. Check whether your room at your destination has a fridge.
Travelling across time zones can affect when you take regular medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you plan adjusting the times of your medicines.
More info can be found at NHS
If you require long-term oxygen therapy, you should arrange supply at your destination country before you travel. Your UK oxygen provider should be able to arrange for supplementary oxygen to be available at the destination, although there may be a charge. You should get details of who to contact at the holiday destination if problems arise regarding the supplementary oxygen supply. Although commercial aircrafts do have an emergency oxygen supply, it is only intended for use in an emergency. If there is likelihood that you will require supplementary oxygen during the flight, you should raise this with the airline at the time of booking. The healthcare provision of many major airlines are summarised on the British Lung Foundation website (www.britishlungfoundation.org)
Avoiding diarrhoea and vomiting
Diarrhoea and vomiting can be debilitating to individuals who are generally in good health, but can be devastating to a patient travelling with cancer.
If you are unsure about the cleanliness of the piped water supply the you should boil all water before drinking or cleaning teeth. For additional safety, only use bottled water (ensure that the cap is sealed).
Avoid ice in drinks where cleanliness is in doubt
Avoid unpasteurised milk
Avoid foods which have been left lying about or reheated
Eat food that is freshly and thoroughly cooked whilst still hot
Avoid food that has been exposed to flies
Taking care in the sun
Some cancer patients may be more sensitive to the direct effects of the sun due to chemotherapy regimes or radiotherapy. High-factor sun block (SPF 15 or higher) is recommended, as is the wearing of loose, cotton clothing.
Get An Online Quote for Travel Insurance for Cancer Patients
orPhone 01592 640011
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