Has anyone had experience of overseas... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Has anyone had experience of overseas travel with lung cancer and is able to provide advice for others in a simular situaton?

20 Replies

We are soon to commmence production on our Spring/Summer edition of Inspire magazine, and are hoping to write an article on overseas travel with lung cancer.We are looking for someone who has experience of this to help us provide useful and accurate information for those in a simular situation.

If you can help please contact Jennifer at inspire@roycastle.org

20 Replies
Billculbard profile image

Hi Beth

I'll send a note to Jen. Might not be relevant though.


Hello Beth,

I travelled exstensively last year, every third week after chemo which was my best week we took the opportunity and went abroad trying to cram in as much as possible. I'm happy to share my experiences but to be honest I had no problems at all. Apart from making sure I had all my medication with me and feeling more tired than usual traveling was as easy with cancer as it was before I was diagnosed. Cancer was already being a right old pain and had taken us all by shock, there was no way I was going to let it invaid and ruin holidays.

in reply to

Quite right!

Thank you for sharing.

ericbyrne profile image

I toured the USA for seven weeks in summer 2011,then again for two weeks last summer. My only problem was searching out affordable travel insurance.I did have from my hospital a list of "cancer sympathetic" insurance companies,so I did contact them,including the company I had for years for my car and home insurance-SAGA,unfortunately after having been referred to their medical section for an investigation into my particular status I was told "sorry but you fall outside our requirements" another company also refused me,suggesting a firm of underwriters they would introduce me to,their prices start at £3000.Eventually I found a company who insured me for my 7 week trip for £250.Interestingly for my USA last year I contacted the same company only to be told that they had a new management team,and I may not get the same deal I had the previous year, she was'nt kidding,for a 2 week policy,they wanted over £1000.I did find another company though, who charged me £110 for a two week stay in the USA.

in reply to ericbyrne

Thanks Eric.

Mafan profile image
Mafan in reply to ericbyrne

I would appreciate details of the company you used. I'd love to visit my niece and friends in the USA but the cost of travel insurance has put me off! I, many others have restricted my travel to Europe. Many thanks. Mafan

ericbyrne profile image
ericbyrne in reply to Mafan

Hi Mafan,

Sorry for the delay,I had to do a bit of paper searching at home to find the insurance company ,my filing systems really need some attention,however it was worth it,I may use this company again in the near future.Here are the contact details;

J.D. Travel

Insurance Consultants Ltd,

Contact us 7 days a week,24 hours a day on

0844 2474749 or visit us on


suesal123 profile image

I was diagnosed in July last year and have been abroad twice since then. Because my cancer is inoperable and is classed as terminal (can someone find a better description than this!) I could not find any insurance company who would cover me for anything connected with my illness.

My current insurer said they would continue to insure me for everything else except anything connected with my cancer. So I have made 2 trips to Europe making sure I have my EHIC card in case anything happens. So far I haven't been brave enough to go further afield without insurance as I have heard what the US is like if you get taken ill without insurance.

All these companies that say they will cover all conditions including cancer don't want to know once you mention that it is terminal.

Joewarren profile image
Joewarren in reply to suesal123

Hi Sue

realise your blog question has been up for some time and don't know if you know this but "terminal illness" has multiple definitions depending on who you are talking too. Sounds daft I know! If you are talking to insurence companies for travel insurance the dfinition is usually "death expected within 12 months", if you are talking to the NHS, the dfinition is just simply they can't cure you. So when they ask the question "are you terminally ill?" it is always worth asking them "what is their definition of terminally ill?" Usually even you are inoperable and not curable you are still technically "not terminal" under their definition and can honestly answer "no" which then makes insurence possible in the majority of cases. Hope this helps.

I think my story maybe very helpful for people with a stage 4 diagnosis. I was diagnosed with stage 4 in NSCLC in March 2011. Since then I have traveled to Spain (June 2011), Majorca (July 2011), Cannes/Monte Carlo (October 2011), Jamaica (Jan 2012), Spain (agai, May 2012) USA (July 2012, Mexico (October 2012) and Holland! (November 2012)

I did it all WITHOUT insurance covering me for lung cancer. We did get quotes and all were over £1000. I spoke to my Macmillan nurse who said, go without lung cancer cover just get basic cover (I did tell them about the lung cancer, but chose not to include it in the cover) We had a yearly worldwide policy that cost £40. The first year we just went to Europe as we could use the E111 card with reciprocal agreement with the NHS if need be. We didn't need it. In that time I had 2 CT scans that showed my tumour shrinking and stable so after the scan in the October of 2011 we decided that if it was still OK we would go to Jamaica. It was so we booked the next holiday we could get 6 weeks later, that was (Jan 2012), we went to Spain again in May, had the next scan in June that scan was again stable so in July we set off for 3 weeks in the USA (Wisconsin visiting friends, Las Vegas (friends again) San Francisco, San Diego and New York). In October just before the next scan we went to Mexico to see our friends get married. We then had the next scan beginning of November, the week after before the results we went on a mini break to Amsterdam. I have since had my scan results though and I have disease progression. Once I have my second opinion and start my next treatment and have a hopefully positive response we will be planning more trips abroad!

in reply to

Thanks Lyn.x

Billculbard profile image

This is the note I sent to Jennifer.

It may not be relevant, but worth thinking about.

I travelled to the USA the year after I was ill. Although I technically didn't have cancer by that time, travel companies were going to load me on insurance, because I'd had it previously.

My answer was to go to the RBS where I had/have a 'Gold' account, which includes free travel until 70 (close!!). I told them about my health and they agreed to cover me at no extra cost, provided I had a letter from my GP saying I was fit to travel. I just had to have it - wasn't asked for it by anyone.

I understand that provided you are unlikely to require treatment for the cancer, or unlikely to become ill because of it, you should be okay.


in reply to Billculbard

Thanks Bill, thats great.

We haven't travelled abroad because my husband suffers from blood clots (he has had a pulmonary embolism in his one remaining lung) and several in his leg. . We just won't risk it, he is on 3 fragmin injections daily for the rest of his life . (Fragmin is anti coag medication ) .

We discovered Wales though :-)

in reply to

Thank you. Sometimes you don't know whats on your own doorstep.

mags03 profile image


I have now had inoperable lung cancer since May 2011 and been on iressa since.WhenI was "settled"on the meds.I travelled in Europe,Australia.and cruised on Eastern Med.I got travel info. From McMillan site.I shall send the relevant details to Jennifer


in reply to mags03

Thank you Mags.

in reply to mags03

Hi Mags,

Thank you for your comment.

I'm not sure if you have tried to contact Jennifer, but as yet, nothing has arrived.

Her email address is inspire@roycastle.org

We are keen to work on this article as soon as possible.

Many Thanks.

mags03 profile image

Hi Beth,

I sent email to Beth on same day I replied to you.Dont know what happened but I will try again.


in reply to mags03

Thank you Mags.

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