Monthly Archives: August 2014

TRAVEL AND CANCER

Everyone would love to have a nice holiday with family however CANCER may probably make u reconsider your holiday plans. Also throughout your experience with cancer, you may have various reasons to travel; from work and treatment to pleasure. Many cancer patients are able to travel safely and comfortably; however, there are some important factors and precautions to consider before, during and after you plan your trip.

Before:                                                                   

  • Within 6 weeks of your departure date ensure that you have set up an appointment with your doctor.
  • You may have to have tests to determine how well your immune system and organs are functioning and arrange for vaccines and preventative medicines.
  • Get copies of all your recent blood tests and tests results in case these will be necessary.
  • A general letter from your doctor describing your diagnosis and treatment plan is also quite useful to have.
  • Make sure you have sufficient supplies of your primary medications and side effect medications.
  • Carry all medications in their original containers along with a letter of explanation from your doctor to avoid issues with customs and border security.
  • Learn important words in the language of the country you are going to such as “emergency”, “doctor” and “cancer” to expedite assistance in an emergency situation.
  • Investigate your health insurance to confirm that it covers you in foreign countries as well.

During:

  • Traveling, especially air travel, can increase the risk of developing blood clots.
  • To prevent these ensure that you wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing, drink plenty of water during flights and limit your intake of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration. On any journey it is always helpful to walk around or do leg exercises regularly.
  • Eating well balanced meals can be difficult when travelling, especially if the food available is distasteful to you.
  • Consider bringing along meal replacement backups such as energy bars or peanut butter and crackers to ensure that your energy levels are up to standard.

After:

  • Right after you return from your trip, ensure that you set up an appointment with your doctor.
  • If you experience any strange symptoms after your trip make sure you consult your doctor.

Hopefully, once everything is planned you’ll be able to look forward to enjoying your time away.

References:

Travel and Cancer (4th ed.). (2011). London: Macmillan Cancer Support.

Written by,

Noelle Oguta and Khushboo Shah- Volunteers at Faraja Cancer Support Trust.

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