Whether it is a short-break or a week or two’s holiday abroad, there is no reason why you cannot continue to travel with neuroendocrine cancer. In fact, most patients who are living with NETs would tell you to not let your condition confine you to the house and to continue to do what you would normally do.
Travelling may be just the thing needed to help you take the time and space to come to terms with your diagnosis of NETs, de-stress, or perhaps celebrate getting a good test result or marking the end of a particular treatment phase.
Although you may experience more difficulties travelling than you used to – perhaps you feel tired more easily or generally uncomfortable on the journey, or experience more logistical issues such as getting your medication though security at an airport – all of these things can be managed if you know what to expect and plan ahead.
Make sure your travel plans do not coincide with any important check-ups or appointments. Consult your healthcare team if you are unsure.
“I’ve only just this year, after being diagnosed for 5 years, finally got travel insurance… which will cover me for my pre-existing condition…”
If you need to take medication while you are away, ask your primary care physician or specialist NETs doctor for a letter stating why the medication has been prescribed and how often you must take it.
This is particularly important if you are carrying a liquid or injectable medication and travelling through airport or other similar security that limits the amount of liquid you can carry or the transport of sharp objects.
Take details of your prescription with you in case you need to obtain more medication while you are away. And, ensure you read the patient information leaflet(s) that come with your medication(s) to check how the medication needs to be stored. If your medication needs to be kept cool, check how long you will be travelling and if going to a hot climate invest in a specialist medical cool bag.
If in doubt, consult someone in your healthcare team for advice on travelling with medication or ask your local patient support group for help.
“It is good to carry a letter with you with the details of your diagnosis and the treatments or medications that you are on”
A big concern for many people with chronic illnesses, and not just cancer, is what will happen if you get sick while away from home, particularly if in another country. Some insurance companies may be reluctant to offer travel insurance to people with cancer or other chronic conditions such as diabetes as they may be more likely to make a claim.
However, it is possible to get travel insurance and it could offer you the peace of mind you need to travel without the worry of what may happen if you get sick or lose something valuable.
Check out your options before booking your travel, and be prepared to ask several companies before taking out your insurance to get the best deal.
For extra peace of mind, European residents may also be eligible to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This provides emergency hospital treatment should you need within the European Union and certain other countries, although it should not be used as an alternative to getting travel insurance.
Read practical tips from others to help make your life with NETs easier
Patient support groups for NETs can often provide social and emotional support
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