Travel preparations to maintain the health of cancer patients

Travel preparations to maintain the health of cancer patients

Thanksgiving week is the busiest travel time of the year. For cancer patients, it doesn’t just mean visiting friends and loved ones. It also means taking extra steps to avoid further illness. Cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system, leaving patients vulnerable to a number of infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 percent of cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy seek hospital care for their infections.

To stay healthy this holiday season, patients and their fellow travelers can take a number of precautions before boarding that flight. First, start by consulting your oncology team to make sure you are healthy enough to fly. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), cancer patients with severe anemia, brain tumors, or low oxygen levels may not be able to fly. Ask your care team for written documentation of your condition and necessary medical instructions, and carry a list of emergency contact numbers with you, just in case.

Also, be sure to consider whether you are wearing any medical devices or require special accommodations. You may also want to get an extra prescription for all your medications, in case your trip is unexpectedly long, and ask your oncologist to recommend cancer care providers and hospitals in the area you’re visiting. This is the time to get to know your insurance policy fully so that you are aware of your coverage and any necessary out-of-pocket expenses that may come with emergency care. Before buying your ticket, you can also consider buying travel insurance, in case you are not able to make the trip when the departure date arrives.

after take off

Once you join the board, additional challenges may arise. For those who suffer from lymphedema, a common side effect of patients with breast or other cancers, for example, swelling in the extremities can be made worse by changes in air pressure mid-flight. To help reduce swelling, wear compression sleeves and loose-fitting clothing, and move around as much as possible during the flight. Try to get up every hour to improve circulation, drink plenty of bottled water, and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, which can make you feel bloated. Staying in a moderate motion can also help prevent blood clots or blood clots, which can develop even in healthy passengers on long flights, but are especially dangerous for patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as for those with lung or lung cancer. Digestive system and those with lung cancer. He had surgery recently. .

Depending on your condition, your doctor may discourage you from trying long-distance flights. If you are authorized to travel, consider traveling with a partner who can help you carry your luggage, move around the airport, and avoid interfering with any other issues that may arise. Many airlines and airports now offer a simplified airport inspection process through the TSA Pre✓ ® program that can relieve some of the stress that often occurs when traveling.

General precautions

Other precautions are not limited to travelers, but it is important to remember them. Because patients undergoing chemotherapy are more susceptible to infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends frequent hand washing with soap and water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is another good alternative, especially when soap and water are not available. So consider packing a small bottle in your carry-on bag, along with your medication, sunscreen, medical documents and your contact numbers. Packing your handbag with healthy snacks, bite-sized liquid meal replacements, hard candy, or lozenges can also help alleviate common side effects associated with treatment such as nausea, mouth sores, and dry mouth. And if you have any concerns about getting sick during the flight, ask for an aisle seat or one near the bathroom for easy access and peace of mind.

The holidays are meant to be shared and remembered with the loved ones in your life. Building new memories is more valuable for those with chronic diseases. Take a few extra steps this season, stay healthy, and add health-conscious travel precautions to your travel checklist.

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