PLANETS cancer charity warns of ‘perverse situation’ as patients are denied respite

A cancer charity has started a petition to make travel insurance accessible and affordable for cancer patients.

By Sophie Lewis
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 4:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 4:12 pm

PLANETS Cancer Charity, which is Hampshire based, has received over 66,000 signatures on their petition to ensure that cancer patients can access affordable travel insurance.

Many patients that have cancer are being denied the right to respite due to their current illnesses, while others are sacrificing their holiday because of the extortionate costs of insurance.

Neil Pearce, co-founder of PLANETS

One patient was recently quoted £7,000 to go to Canada for two weeks.

A neuroendocrine tumour is usually found in the lungs, bowels or pancreas and commonly spreads to other parts of the body.

Neil Pearce, co-founder of PLANETS, said: ‘For many people, the respite and morale boost a holiday away with family or friends brings is invaluable to their life, yet we are in the perverse situation where very little effort is even put in to establish the condition a person is in.’

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Layla Stephen(left) and Jo Green (right).

PLANETS is calling for insurance companies to review the procedures in place surrounding cancer patients to help provide affordable travel insurance.

They would like to establish a model in consultation between insurance companies, cancer bodies and charities to help make sure that cancer patients have the opportunity to have a break.

Jo Green, a neuroendocrine patient and one of the founders of PLANETS, said: ‘ This is such a big issue for the patients we hear from and I am asked weekly for advice and recommendations, yet the outlook for those seeking positive responses is bleak.

‘I don’t think insurance companies can differentiate between cancers, which is pretty outrageous given it isn’t one disease, but hundreds of differing ones.’

Jo said that in many cases, patients who are low risk are still quoted extremely high prices to travel abroad, and this needs to be changed.

Layla Stephen, chief executive of PLANETS, said: ‘The impact of our petition so far is showing clearly just how much of a significant issue this is and that people want to see action for cancer patients.’