Recent diagnosis

Hi there
I’ve just been diagnosed with JAK 2, Essential thrombocythemia (ET) - currently taking daily aspirin am going to start Hydroxycarbamide next Tuesday. Had planned a 3 hr flight for 1 June, Consultant says so long as follow precautions, should be OK (and my insurer will cover me) - is this too soon to be considering flying? Love to get any advice?


Hi @AnnieB and welcome to our forum.
You ask a very good question and normally I would say to ask your consultant as they know you and your whole medical history.
I realise you have done this and perhaps you might check out what following precautions actually means.
Check out how long your Hydroxycarbamide is for.
I would say make sure you get your travel insurance and be honest when apply.
Then perhaps it is up to you how you feel about travelling abroad.
Look after yourself and please tell us how you get on

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Hey there @AnnieB,
I do hope you are doing okay? Getting to grips with your condition certainly will take time and as Erica has also highlighted, you have done the right thing in asking your consultant if it is safe for you to fly. We of course want you to live your life as normally as possible and holidays can be an essential part of this.
In having Essential thrombocythemia (ET) your risk will be associated with blood clots, however your treatment will be aimed to reduce that risk as much as possible. Sometimes we also need to consider risk when flying longer haul and there can be practical things you can do to reduce this risk and also keep yourself as safe as possible.

We have some tips on this in our blog here- Blood cancer and travel: your guide | Blood Cancer UK.

If this is something you are still worried about don’t hesitate to go back to your consultant to talk things through again or give our helpline a call- 0808 2080 888.

Take good care, Lauran


Hi @AnnieB
I got diagnosed with the same just over a year ago and I’ve been on Hydroxy for 11 months now.

I have flown to the States (9-10 hour flight) a few times and will be doing so again in July.
I always wear flight socks on any flight and I do ankle exercises every hour or so and get up and walk about, please make you declare your condition to your travel insurer.
Oh and take your meds in your carry on in case they mislay your case.

Have a lovely holiday


Thanks so much for this
I’m more wondering how long I have to wait till I fly
Have a 3 hour flight booked for 1 June, not starting my Hydroxy till 9 April?
Best wishes


Hey there @AnnieB, welcome to the forum! I’m so sorry to read of your diagnosis. I was diagnosed with a similar Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) last year, Polycythaemia vera (PV).

I also take daily aspirin and hydroxyurea and actually had planned to fly long-distance last year a few months after diagnosis. What I found was I had such bad fatigue from starting chemotherapy and its effects on me physically that I couldn’t actually think through my travel plans, coordinating all the finer details, figuring out connections and so on. So I postponed my travels as I didn’t want to deal with the chemo brain abroad. Stress can really trigger some of the worst of the cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

While other Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) survivors may be fine on hydroxyurea and other treatments, research shows that over 80 % of us get CRF from our cancers and/or treatments. The fatigue can vary but for some, like me, it was pretty disabling. Thankfully that’s faded with some evidence-based interventions on my part.

So I’d say, definitely bear in mind the fact that we need to be careful of clotting and that flying is a risk of that. I’d also consider whether there’ll be adequate hospitals at your destination that can deal with any emergencies, should they arise. And whether you have health insurance that covers any issues. Have a look around this site as many have asked about travel insurance and there’s a few threads detailing various insurance companies.

However, a 3-hour flight isn’t the longest and so you’ll be in the air for hardly any time. I hope you get to enjoy your travels, whenever that may be!

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with Essential thrombocythemia (ET).

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