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The Dos and Don’ts of Travelling With Leukaemia


Leukaemia has a reputation as a form of cancer that mainly affects children. But in fact, this is only true of one of the four main types of leukaemia, and even that is relatively rare. The majority of the 10,000 people diagnosed with leukaemia in the UK every year are aged 60 or older.

As with all types of cancer, people who are diagnosed with leukaemia are anxious to know how their condition will affect their quality of life, including what they will and will not be able to do while they undergo treatment. It is common for people to ask whether or not they should travel, and if so, what precautions they should take.

Here are some brief dos and don’ts about planning to travel before, during or after treatment for leukaemia.


● Consult your doctor about your plans and keep them fully informed. They may advise you that your current state of health makes it unwise to travel, or recommend you make alternative plans. But if they do think you are well enough, they will be of invaluable assistance helping you with everything from taking the right medicines with you to knowing what to do in an emergency.

● Plan for plenty of rest time. Even if you are used to all-action adventure-type holidays, if you have been diagnosed with leukaemia it is probably time to reconsider the virtues of a more restful and relaxing type of holiday. Leukaemia saps the energy of sufferers and can be physically debilitating. Travelling itself can take a lot out of you, so don’t cram your schedule with too many activities - plan for plenty of rest instead.

● Look for a specialist insurance provider. Many insurance firms will either refuse to cover you following a diagnosis for leukaemia or charge you an eye-watering amount for a policy, even if you are in remission. You must declare your diagnosis otherwise, you risk invalidating your policy if you do need to make a claim for medical treatment while away. The best option is to find a provider that offers tailored leukaemia travel insurance policies which state clearly in the schedule that they will cover you for any medical assistance you might need.


● Push yourself too hard. You might feel as you come towards the end of chemotherapy that you and your loved ones deserve a holiday after the tough times you have been through over the previous weeks and months. But even if you are told you are in remission, it can take time to recover physically and mentally - chemo and radiotherapy can put your body under an enormous amount of strain. There’s no rush, wait until you feel your strength coming back.

● Leave yourself short of medication. If you travel while you are still undergoing treatment, make sure you take plenty with you - the last thing you want is to run out and start feeling symptoms returning while you are away. It’s a good idea to take a reserve supply just in case you lose some luggage on the way, and also take a full prescription with a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and why you need those medicines, just in case.

*Presume that every travel insurance policy you look at are the same. Although it’s really important to find cover that suits your medical needs, it’s also important to find one that can cover the things that are important to you. From gadget cover to having to cancel because of the coronavirus – not all policies will cover the same things. Some specialist medical travel insurers like Staysure can cover outbreaks like the coronavirus if you upgrade your policy with things like travel disruption cover.




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