Travelling with Lymphoma and Leukaemia

It can be a struggle to find travel insurance for lymphoma or leukaemia but Insure Direct has done the hard work in finding a range of specialists in providing medical travel insurance for pre existing conditions, including the blood cancers, leukaemia and lymphoma (both non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma)

It is extremely important to get travel insurance that covers you for your medical condition, in case you get ill and need treatment while you are abroad, or you need to cancel your trip as a result of lymphoma or leukaemia.

Do your research

What types of medical facilities are there at your destination? Is there somewhere you could get medications if you need them?

Travel precautions

People with active lymphoma may be more prone to certain infections because of the effect of the disease upon their immune system. This is particularly true if you are currently receiving chemotherapy, take steroids or have had your spleen removed. A good way to obtain specific advice is to consult your hospital specialist; GP or travel clinic for up to date recommendations on precautions.

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Your GP or travel clinic should be well aware of which vaccines are safe for people with lymphoma. Some vaccines are not recommended for patients with lymphoma because they contain live organisms (a small considerably weakened dose of the living organism against which immunisation is intended). You should be especially cautious about travelling to an area where there is a risk of disease against which it is not safe for you to receive the vaccine. Live vaccines include:

  • MMR

  • Live polio vaccine

  • Live (oral) typhoid

  • Yellow Fever and Japanese B encephalitis

  • BCG


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Anti-malaria tablets

If you’re still receiving chemotherapy treatment or any other medications for your lymphoma or leukaemia, you should check with your GP or Specialist to ensure that that anti-malaria tablets would not result in bad interactions with any of your current treatments.

Talk to your doctor

You should ask if they can provide you with the name of a doctor at your travel destination that can care for you if you become ill. Some cancer centres will also provide you with a note that can be presented at a care facility in an emergency. This type of letter may include information about your leukaemia or lymphoma and medications you are taking.

Medication tips

Bring enough medication for your entire trip, plus extra in case of loss. Some medications are not readily available in other countries, so it is worthwhile to check out beforehand what you should do if your supply gets low whilst travelling. Keep all medications in their original containers with labels. Prescription bottles should have your name and the name and dosage of the drug clearly indicated. You should consider carrying a note from your doctor with a list of your required medications on it to prove that you need them. 

This is especially important for pain medications, anti-depressants, and stimulants that may be illegal in other countries. You should carry all your medications in a re-sealable plastic bag to prevent spills. If you are travelling with chemotherapy or injectable medications, this step is particularly important. Put cotton balls in your pill bottles to prevent pill damage during transport. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to handle your medications if you will be travelling to a different time zone.


Make sure that you schedule in some rest time every couple of hours so that you don’t get run down. This regular “down time” will help to prevent you from missing out on activities later in the long run.

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Phone 01592 640011

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