Study shows flu shot a good choice for cancer patients

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LONDON, Ont. – Catching flu can be dangerous for anyone, but it can be especially detrimental to cancer patients.

"The Lawson Health Research Institute Oncologist Dr. Phillip Blanchette says," There is an increased risk of being hospitalized and a potential increased risk of death because of influence in some cases.

In fact, approximately 20 per cent of cancer patients who catch flu are hospitalized and the flu can cause a host of complications when it comes to cancer treatment.

"It can cause significant delays in their treatment and that can have impacts on their cancer as well."

Blanchette has been working on a study examining the effectiveness of flu vaccine has cancer of patients.

The study used data collected between 2016 and 2016 from around 26,000 cancer patients in the province

"We found all of the patients who are affected by the influence of laboratory influenza confirmed around 21 per cent."

Blanchette says even though that number is lower than the effective rate among the general population it still shows the benefits of the cancer shot

"This is a significant result and supports the current clinical practice guidelines for flu vaccination among cancer patients during flu season."

Says, "The flu vaccine is safe among cancer patients." It may be quite effective, but it is definitely safe and the study results.

More information about the study can be found in the Journal of Clinical Oncology or at lawsonresearch.ca.

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