The Manual
06 Jul 2017

Travel essentials: check off our list before you check in for your flight

Travelling when you have prostate cancer doesn't have to change how or where you head on your holidays. But there are a few extra things to think about that will hopefully make things easier. From travel insurance to incontinence management, our Specialist Nurse, Ali Rooke, shares her top tips for your travel plans this summer.

Speak to your doctor, GP or Specialist Nurse before travelling

If you’re having treatment, find out how this might affect your travel plans. For example, if you’ve just had surgery, check with your surgeon or hospital to find out when you’ll be okay to fly.

Get travel insurance

We receive a lot of calls about getting insurance from both men and their partners. They tell us their previous company has either refused to cover them following their diagnosis, or their premium has gone through the roof and now outweighs the cost of their holiday. But finding decent travel insurance is getting easier and many insurance companies will look at cases individually. If you shop around and ask the right questions, you should be able to find the right insurance for you.

Check your medication

It can be helpful to get a doctor’s letter about the medication you’re taking, as there may be restrictions in some countries. Make a note of the name of your medication and your dosage in case there’s an issue or you lose them, so you can then inform a doctor and get replacements.

Take a note of any treatments you’ve had or are having

This is particularly important for men who’ve had brachytherapy, as it can set off airport radiation sensors! You should normally get something called a traceability card from you doctor. It refers to the ‘seeds’ in your prostate and informs the airport you’re able to travel.

Take steps to avoid blood clots during your flight

Exercising your legs, wearing loose-fitting clothes, drinking plenty of water and wearing compression socks if your doctor recommends it can all help with prevention.

If you have any incontinence, be prepared

Make sure you have enough pads in your hand luggage, in case your suitcase gets lost. If you have a catheter fitted, you might need to take a spare one or a drainage bag. And you might need a certificate to say what this is used for, especially if you’re going through customs as they might search you. Check with your doctor.

Stay hydrated

It’s important to drink plenty of water. We recommend two litres of fluid a day and avoiding alcoholic drinks. If you’ve had chemotherapy or radiotherapy, you may be more sensitive to the sun. So if you’re going somewhere warm, avoid the strongest hours of sunlight and use a high factor sun cream – or cover up.

Avoid getting an infection

Some treatments, such as chemotherapy, weaken the immune system and make it easier for you to get infections. If you’re travelling in less developed countries, make sure you have clean water, such as bottled water, and boil any water you’re unsure about. Make sure food is properly cooked, avoid things like salads and raw vegetables, and only eat fruit you have to peel to eat, such as bananas.

Have fun and recharge your batteries

Holidays should be a time to relax and enjoy yourself. So get some well earned rest in!

Check out our fact sheet for all of our tips and information about travelling with prostate cancer.