It may be helpful to ask your GP or cancer doctor for a letter giving a short explanation of your diagnosis and treatment. If you get copies of your hospital letters, these often summarise your condition and treatment.
You can take the letter with you and show it to healthcare providers abroad if you become ill. Some travel insurance providers may ask for a doctor’s letter confirming you are fit to travel.
If you are travelling abroad, you could look up translations of key phrases in the doctor’s letter. For example, you could do this for the name of the cancer or treatment. You could use a foreign language dictionary, a translation app or the free online translation service at translate.google.com It is important to be certain that the translation of medical terms is correct.
You need a letter from your GP or cancer doctor if you take medication abroad with you.
- Have you spoken to your cancer team, GP, practice nurse or a travel health professional about whether you are fit to travel?
- Do you need a companion or helper to [travel with you]?
- Have you told your travel company and accommodation about your needs?
- If you are travelling to a European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, have you applied for a General Health Insurance Card (GHIC)?
- Have you found suitable travel insurance and packed your travel insurance policy?
- Have you got a travel certificate or medical card describing your condition?
- If you are going somewhere hot, have you packed sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, a wide-brimmed hat and suitable clothes to cover up in the sun?
- Do you need any vaccinations for the country you are visiting? Speak to your GP, practice nurse or private travel health clinic at least 8 weeks before travelling.
- Do you need a letter from your doctor for taking your medication abroad?
- If you are carrying enough medicines to last 3 months or more, do you need a personal medicines licence?
- Have you got enough medicines to last for your whole trip and extra supplies?
- Have you spoken to a health professional about taking your medicines at the right time?
- Do you need to take anti-malarial tablets?
- Do you need to take any medical equipment or arrange oxygen supplies on holiday?
- Have you packed important medical supplies or products? These could include:
- a cool bag if you are travelling with medicines that need to be kept cool
- insect repellent containing up to 50% DEET (diethyl-m-toluamide)
- antiseptic cream, in case you get a
[cut, scratch or graze ]
- anti-diarrhoea medicines and rehydration sachets.
Below is a sample of the sources used in our travel and cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at email@example.com
Fit for Travel. fitfortravel.nhs.uk (accessed June 2019).
GOV.UK. Drugs licensing. Available from gov.uk/guidance/controlled-drugs-licences-fees-and-returns (accessed April 2019).
Jane Chiodini, Travel Health Specialist Nurse. www.janechiodini.co.uk (accessed April 2019).
National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). travelhealthpro.org.uk (accessed June 2019).
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Chief Medical Editor, Professor Tim Iveson, Consultant Medical Oncologist.
Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.