Flu shot vs the quad flu shot for cancer patients/cancer survivors?

Can anyone tell me if cancer patients undergoing any type of treatment eg. Chemo or immuno and cancer survivors should get annual flu shots?

I checked on the American Cancer Society website and it appears their recommendation is to take the flu (inactive virus) shot but not the new flu shot called the quad (active virus) According to the ACS they state cancer patient and cancer survivors should only take the shot that has an inactive virus. I would like to know know if this is true since I have no idea when the article was written on their website.

Thank you,
Katy

Report post

12 replies. Join the discussion

when I was in chemo 2 years ago, i asked my uro and oncologist if i could/should get a flu shot and they both said that it would be fine. ... so my primary care physician did give me one during a visit that fall.

so i would say you should ask your doctors opinion.... i have not heard of the "quad flu shot"

marcia/ohio

Report post

My oncologist told me to get a flu shot but I was done with chemo at the time. She didn't specify which kind to get but I have always had the inactive virus.

Pat

Report post

Thanks Marsha & Pat for the info. I went ahead and got the flu shot yesterday since it has already hit Florida, 10 cases so far. I can't afford to be sick when I am going for my 6 mo. check up in two weeks.

Katy

Report post

the quad is the newest (this years) and it contains 4 live viruses. I am not sure if someone who is just recovering and is run down should take it or not. will have to call the dr. monday

Report post

gramm7366, I did get my flu shot but not the quad. Since the post I had heard not to take the live virus which I believe is the live virus, so check with your doctor. I took the inactive flu virus shot.

Report post

I start BCG next week and my doc told me not to get a flu shot at this time. Being a total newbie I didn't ask why...duuuuhhhh, got to get out of that mode !

Report post

The quadrivalent vaccine contains 4 strains of virus and the trivalent contains 3 strains. Both are injected and contain inactivated virus. Flu-mist also comes with 4 strains of virus but contains live virus and is inhaled up the nose rather than being injected. It is approved for persons 2 - 49 years old so old guys like me just get the injected form.

Report post

I just checked with my oncologist just this past week.

He said no problem if you are recovered from any chemo but advised against any live virus as a general rule.

~ Cosmo

Report post

Cosmo: thanks, I am guessing that the flu would be a breeze compared to BCG, guess I will find out, but don't want both at the same time so being vigilant will help.

Report post

burlfish, just remember it is good to know what to expect by hearing others experiences but remember we are all a little different and so is our BC and our chemical makeup. For example, most will say that it is not until the 5th or 6th treatment that you will start to get severe urgency issues and bleeding. So I went in expecting that. However, my first treatment was the worse and then my 5th and 6th. I think my first one was the most problematic was b/c I had two TURBT 4 wks apart. My first treatment caused a lot of clotting and required a catherization lavage as well as pelvic rest.

Do you know to hold for 2 hrs if possible and roll 15 min each side. I even did a head stand (LOL). Once you do pee, pour 1 cup of bleach in tolit, let stand 15 min. before flushing. I had on had gloves, mask and bleach on hand in bathroom. Some people on this site have asked their doctor for medicine for bladder spasms or burning. Which is a good idea. I didn’t have to take any till the last two treatments. I also made a big pot of homemade soup the day before one lady on forum Joyus recommended bone soup. It was very soothing and comforting.

Once, you do void it is very important to drink min. a gallon of water or more. BCG is a live but weaken bacteria so you may want to where a mask and gloves for precautionary reasons. Also, for me I learned that the pain wouldn’t come until after I had my first void. I could count from that point forward about 6 hours and that helped me to know when the discomfort would pass. I wish you the best and a successful 6 week induction. Keep us posted.

Katy

Report post

My husband finished his 3 weeks of BCG treatment week before last and asked about getting the flu jab. His specialist nurse asked around and said it was fine to get it but to leave it for at least 3 to 4 weeks after the last BCG.

Report post

I am guessing that maybe the doctors feel your body is under stress and this is the time for BCG to kill the cancer and not a flu virus. Just a thought.

Katy

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support BCAN

Help the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network

Discussion topics

Walk for Bladder Cancer May 3rd

Walk for Bladder Cancer

Resources from BCAN

BCAN on Facebook

Like the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network on Facebook

Community leaders