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Just a friendly reminder - it's that time of the year again. People are about to start sneezing and coughing on you while in line at the grocery store, and they may be infected with the flu. According to the American Cancer Society, as many as one in five people will get the flu this year.
Anyone with colon cancer (either active or in remission) might suffer worse if he or she does contract influenza. People with cancer are more frequently hospitalized with the flu, which means the symptoms you suffer will be uncomfortable, if not life threatening.
People with colon cancer should not get the intra-nasal vaccine - go for the shot. The intra-nasal vaccine is live, weakened, but still a live virus. Additionally, if you are currently on chemotherapy or radiation therapy, talk to your doctor before getting your shot. He or she can make sure it is safe for you to do so.
If you have an allergy to chicken eggs or rooster combs (the red part on the rooster), you may be allergic to the shot. Talk to your doctor before obtaining one.
Don't forget about the people you live with - they need a flu shot as well, to protect you. Infants six months old and younger cannot get the flu shot, and there is a new vaccine specifically tailored for older adults over the age of 65.
Traditionally, flu season lasts until about May. Until then, it's prudent to avoid obviously sick people, large crowds and wash your hands frequently to avoid catching the flu. You can learn more about good hand washing technique from my colleague, the Guide to Cold and Flu, by clicking here.