If you’re worried about cancer, or you’ve received a cancer diagnosis – we can help.
Vitality support for members with a cancer diagnosis
Understanding cancerCancer occurs when abnormal cells in the body grow out of control. The most common cancers we see today are breast, prostate, lung, and bowel cancer. Statistics suggest that 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK).
But there is hope. We can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer through healthy living. And in the UK, cancer survival is improving – it has doubled over the past 40 years (Cancer Research UK, 2022).
Around 4 in 10 cancers can be prevented (Cancer Research UK, 2019). So, whether you need to boost, or start, new healthy habits, now is a great time to make some positive changes.
Here's some tips on what you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer:
Create some healthier habits
Understand your body
Whether you're a Vitality member or not, our Vitality blogs can educate and inspire you to make a change. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn to be part of our community.
Speak to your GP
If something doesn’t feel right, speak to your GP. Knowing my body saved my life. Knowing your body could save yours.
If you’re concerned, it's best to speak to a GP as soon as you can - please don't hesitate to get help. The sooner you find out what’s wrong, the better. They've seen it all before, so don't feel embarrassed if it's a sensitive issue. Everything you say to your GP is confidential.
Health Advice Line
If you’re feeling unwell, need some advice or you’re unsure whether you need to see a doctor, you can give us a call 24/7. To find out more, log in to Member Zone.
Vitality GP App
Vitality members can book an appointment with a Vitality GP. Our Vitality GP support guides walk you through how to download the app, book an appointment and access your consultation notes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer whilst being a Vitality member you can make a claim for treatment. Our Vitality Care team of trained medical professionals and cancer claims specialists will be on hand to support you through every step of your cancer journey.
Log into Member Zone to choose the date and time for a phone call, and our Vitality Care team will get in touch to help with your claim.
Advice for other Vitality members
If you have Vitality at Work, Vitality life insurance or Vitality investments, the Health Advice Line is still available to you 24/7. Log in to Member Zone to find out more about the Health Advice Line. If you need to visit a GP, use the NHS find a GP service.
Not a member?
If you don't have Vitality health insurance, please speak to your NHS GP or consultant about a treatment plan.
Your Vitality Cancer Cover
With Vitality Advanced Cancer Cover*, we're here to help you and your family during this difficult time.
Treatment costs paid in full
If you're a VitalityHealth member and you're diagnosed with cancer, we’ll pay for your cancer treatment in full. That's either as an in-patient or an out-patient.The only exceptions are:
- when you choose to receive treatment from a consultant or hospital that's not in your Hospital options, or
- when you choose a treatment that’s not on our approved list of cancer treatments, which we’ll explain during your claim.
*If you have a Corporate Healthcare plan, please check your plan for details on your cancer cover.
Your Vitality Care ManagerOnce we've approved your claim, you’ll have your own personal, dedicated Vitality Care Manager to support you through every step of your cancer journey. They'll listen to your needs and will guide you through your treatment options, so you get the right care for you. They'll also help you through your recovery to get you back to health as quickly as possible.
That’s a promise.
If you've received a diagnosis for cancer, your treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Chemotherapy - The use of drugs to kill off the cancer cells. If your consultant agrees, you could receive chemotherapy at home.
- Radiotherapy - The use of radiation to attack the cancer cells. This is sometimes combined with chemotherapy.
- Surgery - The removal of the cancerous cells or tumours.
- Hormone therapy - The use of drugs to control hormones in your body. This therapy is often used for breast and prostate cancers.
- Immunotherapy - The use of body’s immune system to find and attack the cancer. This is also called biological therapy.
After your treatment
Recovery, recurrence and incurable cancers
You need time for yourself, and you may want to think about how you want to live your life, from before you had cancer. Many cancer survivors recommend taking some ‘me time', to relax and take it easy.
Recovery support for Vitality members
If you have Vitality health insurance, you can book a complimentary, tranquil stay at Champneys Tring.
- One night overnight stay, with all meals included.
- Three group sessions with experts in nutrition, physiotherapy and mental health.
- A complimentary Champneys spa treatment as part of your stay.
If cancer returns
If cancer does return, it's most likely to do so in the first two years after treatment. The longer time passes, the less likely it is to return. For some cancers, doctors will consider you 'cured' if the cancer has not returned after 10 years (Cancer Research UK, 2020).
If your cancer can’t be treated
Unfortunately, not all cancers are curable. If you need physical or emotional support, whether your cancer is treatable or not - there are many cancer charities who can help you. We've provided links to these in the section below.
We'll stay with you
With Vitality health insurance, we'll cover your ongoing tests and consultations for up to 5 years. If your cancer is incurable, you can receive:
- support to help manage the pain
- emotional support
- and when the time comes, end-of-life care too.
Our Vitality Care team will talk you through all the support on offer.
- Macmillan Cancer Support - a cancer charity providing physical, emotional, and financial support.
- Marie Curie Cancer Care - a cancer charity for care and support through terminal illness.
- NHS Cancer - a comprehensive cancer health condition hub.
- Prostate Cancer UK - a charity working towards a world free of limitations from prostate cancer.
- Cancer Research UK - a cancer charity that provides scientific information and has a Cancer Chat available 24/7.
- Look Good Feel Better - a charity that provides useful information and workshops aimed at boosting physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Cancer Hair Care - A free hair loss advisory service led by trained Cancer Hair Care Clinical Specialists.
- Maggie's Centres - These centres offer free professional support to anyone with cancer, or their loved ones. They have walk in centres as well as online support.
- Penny Brohn - Penny Brohn are there to support you through your cancer journey, and focus on self-care and managing the emotional impact of living with cancer.
Here’s who may be helping you with your treatment and recovery:
Specialist doctors with expertise in cancer treatment.
Palliative care nurse
Nurses who specialise in managing pain and other symptoms.
Specialists who will advise and help you with any physical problems through exercise and manual therapy.
Trained mental health professionals who can help you with any mental health challenges.
Doctors who use scans to make a diagnosis. They also use radiation to attack cancer cells.
Nurses trained to give expert cancer care and advice. They're also called a clinical nurse specialist.
Specialists who provide advice on what to eat and drink to get the right calories and nutrients. They also help you deal with eating problems, such as difficulty in swallowing.
A constant reassuring presence
I was told I would lose my right breast, but that the cancer was definitely treatable. Within a week I contacted Vitality and spoke with my case worker Phil for the first of many, many times. Over the course of the following year, he became a constant reassuring presence at the end of the phone.
Independent information about private medical treatment
You can find independent information about the quality and cost of private treatment available from doctors and hospitals from the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).