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If you’re worried about cancer, or you’ve received a cancer diagnosis – we can help.

Need help now? 

Vitality support for members with a cancer diagnosis

If you’re a Vitality member and have received a cancer diagnosis, our Vitality Care team of trained medical professionals and cancer claims specialists are on hand to support you. You’ll get a dedicated Vitality Care Manager. Just log into Member Zone to choose a date and time for a phone call with our Vitality Care team, and we will guide you through every step of the journey. 
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Understanding cancer

Cancer 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 50 years (Cancer Research UK, 2022).


What you need to know 

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

Eating and drinking

Cut down on alcohol and sugary, fatty or processed foods. Eating a healthy and balanced range should provide what your body needs.
Learn more about healthy diets.

Stop smoking

15% of all cancer cases are due to smoking, which is by far the largest cause of cancer in the UK (Cancer Research UK, 2020). Quitting can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Help for quitting smoking.

Protect your skin

Protect your skin from sunburn to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek out the shade.
What you need to know about sun safety.

Move more

You can stay healthy with some daily physical activity. At work, be aware of staying in one position too long, and try to take regular breaks.
Find out how to add more movement to your day.

Understand your body

Screening appointments

Attend your screening appointments when invited, for example a smear test or mammogram.
Find out what NHS screening is available.

Regular self-checks

Do regular self-checks of your breasts or testicles so you’re picking up any changes early.
How to check for breast cancer.

Support for Vitality members

Prevention is better than cure. That's why you’ve got access to some great benefits to live a healthier life. They risk assessments to understand your risk of cancer, discounts off health checks, fitness support, healthy food and more. To find out what you can access with your plan, log in to Member Zone to visit your Healthy Living page.

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, X, YouTube or LinkedIn to be part of our community.

Diagnosing cancer

Speaking to a GP

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.

Advice for Vitality members

Concerned about breast cancer?

If you have noticed recent changes such as a breast lump, pain, discharge, or nipple inversion, we offer a fast-track screening and diagnostic service for members with qualifying plans. Log into Member Zone to request a call back regarding this screening service.

Treatment options

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 or Vitality life insurance, 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.

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Treatment costs paid with Advanced Cancer Cover

Advanced Cancer Cover gives you full cover for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy and bisphosphonate therapy, surgery - including reconstructive surgery and follow-up consultations 

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.
In these circumstances, you’ll need to pay for some or all of the treatment costs. This excludes consultant fees which we will cover in full.

*If you have a Corporate Healthcare plan, please check your membership certificate and plan documents for details on your cancer cover.
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Your Vitality Care Manager

Once 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.

Not a Vitality member?

If you’re thinking about buying health insurance, you can read about Advanced Cancer Cover under Health insurance.

Types of cancer treatment

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

Recovering from cancer

Cancer recovery is an important step after your cancer treatment.

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.

You'll get:

  • 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.

Recurrence or incurable cancer

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. And 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.

Help and support

Here’s a list of sources that provide reliable information, free advice lines and support:

  • 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.

More info

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.

Specialist nurse

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.

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).