Travel care for cancer patients

When you are travelling, it is important that you take care of yourself. People with cancer can be at a higher risk of developing blood clots, infections or lymphoedema.

Blood clots

People with cancer can have additional proteins and cell fragments that can cause the blood to clot.

Other reasons why cancer patients may be at higher risk of blood clots are:

– Some cancers have a higher deep vein thrombosis than others
– Hormone therapies can increase risk
– Certain types of cancer drugs
– Surgery within the last few months
– Lack of mobility or a lower level of activeness

If you think you may be at a higher risk of developing a blood clot, check with your doctor before you travel.

Here are some ways to prevent blood clots:

-Short walks
-Regular leg, upper body and breathing exercises
-Wearing loose clothing

Infection risk

If you have been taking drugs for your cancer, you may be at risk of infection for a few weeks after your last course of treatment.

If you have had intensive cancer treatment, you could be at risk for a few months after your last course of treatment. Your doctor may advise you against travelling for 6 to 12 months if you have undergone intensive treatment.

If you are unsure about whether you should travel or not, talk to a specialist before making any holiday plans.

Lymphoedema

Swelling in a part of the body could worsen if you are stationary for long periods during your journey.

Things that may help include:

-Wearing a well fitting elastic sleeve
-Wearing loose clothing
-Keeping the affected part of the body raised when possible
-Regular exercise
-Keeping cool and avoiding sunburn
-Drinking plenty of water

If you are travelling with cancer, make sure you are covered by specialist cancer travel insurance.