Lymphoma and the swine flu vaccine

A number of people are concerned about the swine flu epidemic and how lymphoma or chemo factor in; I'll try to address what I've learned here.

In brief: The nasal spray version of the swine flu vaccine is not recommended because it is a live strain and can cause problems. However, the injection version is inactivated and is recommended. Additionally, the regular ol' seasonal flu vaccine is also recommended for these patients.

The CDC considers people with cancer and people with blood disorders to be at high risk for developing complications related to the flu- both the seasonal flu and the swine flu because of their compromised immune systems. But even when compromised, the immune system can develop antibodies against a dead strain, and a person with antibody protection AGAINST the flu- either seasonal or swine- is substantially better off than one without it.

Of course every patient should ask their doctor or oncologist for the best advice, but this is what the CDC is saying as of October 5.

The CDC's frequently updated page on the swine flu is HERE.

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