Is it okay to go on a cruise before, during, or shortly after chemotherapy treatment?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband is due to start a second round of chemo. We have a family cruise booked for August. Is it ok to go?

Expert Answer

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

There are 3 parts to the answer. The first is for your husband to think about how he feels now and whether he is up to a week of travel. Is he likely to feel too exhausted to enjoy the trip? The second part is for him to think about how the first round of chemotherapy made him feel and whether it would be OK to travel feeling like that. If your husband had a bad reaction, you might want to think twice before traveling. The main part of the answer though is to ask your oncologist what s/he thinks. Ask whether there are other reactions to expect and whether s/he has any concerns about travel. Quality of life is important, but the oncologist can tell you if there are significant risks to consider before going far from advanced medical care.