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H1N1 is back - What should you know if you have cancer?


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H1N1 is Back – What Should You Know if You Have Cancer?

-Lynn Eldridge, MD (LungCancer.About.Com)

Remember all of the to-do surrounding the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009-2010? Well, it's January 2014 and ...


It's Back!

The flu season is taking off, and according to the CDC, the predominant strain being isolated is H1N1. Currently 35 states are seeing widespread activity, and this marks the greatest number of cases since the 2009/10 pandemic. Since October over 2,500 flu related hospitalizations have been recorded in the United States.

Will it be as bad as it was 4 years ago? Not necessarily. In 2009 H1N1 was considered a new strain of flu. We've now had 4 years for people to develop some immunity either through the vaccination, or from having had the disease itself. But it's still a little early to speculate.

What should you know if you're living with cancer?

For one, you may be unable to have the flu shot, for example if chemotherapy has done a number on your immune system. But even if you have the flu shot, it may not be as effective as it would be without cancer, again due to changes in your immune system.

Practicing prevention like careful hand washing is as important as ever. But what if you should develop the flu?

There are a few medications doctors can prescribe to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu. These are by far most effective if started within a day or two of symptoms, so make sure to let your doctor know if you suspect you may have the flu.

What else should you know about the H1N1 flu and cancer? Check out this article for some ideas.

http://lungcancer.about.com/od/livingwi ... atment.htm

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I just got over the h1n1 flu a few weeks ago it was horrible to say the least I tested positive for it I had to spend the night in the hospital I was diagnosed with stage 2a adenocarcinoma in July had left upper lunge removed im finished with my chemo on December 6 I got a flu shot friday so keep washing those hands and be careful

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