The Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months go for a flu shot. The flu can refer to a multitude of viruses changing year after year. Every flu season, the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and The Center for Disease Control collaborate over viruses around the world, looking to depict the most dangerous and those that would cause serious illnesses.
Cancer patients have a weakened immune system and any cancer patient coming down with the flu could have serious complications to the virus. That is why the CDC recommends that cancer patients or those that have had cancer go for a seasonal shot. Lymphoma patients, especially, have weak immune systems and could have serious complications with the flu. Even if someone has had cancer in the past and has been in remission, it is still crucial to have the shot.
According to the CDC, the nasal vaccine is not recommended since the spray carries live viruses. The nasal vaccine is right for those having minor symptoms.The shot delivers deactivated viruses and not advised for compromised immune systems. It is possible to have soreness around the shot area or even a lethargic feeling after the injection. Keep in mind, the cancer patient is not at higher risks of catching the bug. It is the complications once they come down with it that makes it serious.
There are certain situations where cancer patients might bow out from obtaining a shot. It is important to keep communication open with healthcare practitioner. If the patient has recently had a transplant, severe allergies or a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, it’s crucial to communicate other treatments prior to the flu season.
Cancer patients should look into when the first shots are available in their region. A shot usually takes up to 2 weeks to provide protection. They are available at drug stores, doctors offices, pharmacies and schools and college centers. It is always wise to maintain hygienic habits before, during and post flu season. Stay away from those that are ill, keep over-the-counter medications such as hand sanitizers, tissues, ibuprofen on hand and continue to wash hands when needed.
If cancer patients feel they have the flu, contact medical care provider and they will guide one through instructions on what to do. Remain at home away from others and if need to visit the medical facility, use a face mask and carry tissues and hand sanitizer.
Center for Disease Control