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Foreign travel for advanced cancer patients: a guide for healthcare professionals


The opportunity for a patient with advanced cancer to travel abroad may, for some, be a life affirming event during a dark period in their life. For others, what they hoped to be a time of joy may become an unmitigated disaster if they become unwell while away from the safety net of local cancer services. The rise of low budget airlines and cheaper foreign travel has led to an increase in the number of people travelling by air. Health professionals are more likely to face requests by patients to advise them on travel plans. Although foreign travel is an unrealistic goal for some patients, appropriate forward planning and proactive management can allow some patients to make an important journey abroad. This paper looks at the practical issues facing cancer patients who intend to travel overseas and offers practical advice on considerations that need to be made.

  • AMO, airline medical officer
  • DEET, diethltouamide
  • EEA, European Economic Area
  • IHIC, European Health Insurance Card

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