Flu Season Alert

What Cancer Patients Need to Know

Influenza, or “flu,” is a contagious disease of your respiratory system. It is caused by a virus and spreads between people through coughing, sneezing and close contact. People can be contagious even before they start showing symptoms. Flu season runs from November through April.

In most cases, the flu quickly causes illness, which usually includes fever, muscle aches, sore throat and cough. It often gets better within a week. For some people, however, it is more serious. Every year thousands of people in the U.S. are hospitalized and die of complications from the flu. Flu can be especially dangerous in people with cancer and a weakened immune system. Other people at risk include young children, the elderly and those with lung or heart disease. The best way to prevent influenza is to get your yearly flu shot.

Roswell Park encourages patients to get their flu shots every fall if medically cleared by their Roswell Park physician. Please contact your Roswell Park physician about being vaccinated. We also encourage those who live with you to get a flu shot each year. This can reduce their chance of getting the flu and infecting you.

Flu shots are already available at many local pharmacies, including Wegmans, Walmart, Rite Aid and Walgreens. We encourage patients who can be vaccinated to get their flu shot as soon as possible.