Advice about swine flu by Honey Claws

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									                                      Advice about swine flu
General Advice
If I am on cancer treatment, should I take Tamiflu to prevent getting ill with swine flu?
No. You should only take anti-flu treatment if you develop symptoms or if other household members
develop flu. Your Christie doctor will tell you if you need to take Tamiflu or Relenza (the other anti-flu
drug).

I am due to start cancer treatment soon but I haven’t had the first dose of chemotherapy,
radiotherapy or surgery yet. I have flu symptoms such as a fever or respiratory problems such
as a cough and shortness of breath. What should I do?
Certain groups of patients which includes those being treated for serious underlying conditions such as
cancer, leukaemia or lymphoma are advised to contact their own GP rather than use the National
Pandemic Influenza Service. If advised, start Tamiflu or Relenza. You may need to check with your
Christie doctor which one is better for you. Your surgery or chemotherapy will be delayed until 7 days
after you have recovered from the symptoms of flu. Please phone your Christie doctor’s secretary to let
them know what you are doing.
I am on chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can I have a swine flu vaccination?
Not yet. The vaccine is not available. We will let you know if and when you should have a vaccination
when the vaccine becomes available.
I am on treatment for my cancer which my doctor has told me does not make my blood count
low. (examples include radiotherapy, hormone therapy, enzyme inhibitors and anti-body
therapy). I now have flu symptoms. Should I contact my GP or should I phone The Christie
Hotline?
Contact your Christie doctor for advice. Your doctor may advise you to have a full blood count and a
swab to check if you have a respiratory virus at the same time as starting Tamiflu. Surgery or
radiotherapy treatment may have to be delayed as you should avoid close contact with other Christie
patients. If you are on an oral therapy (taking tablets), these may not mix well with Tamiflu which can
cause nausea and vomiting. Relenza may be a better option for you.
For patients having chemotherapy:
If I am on chemotherapy and get a fever, should I contact the National Pandemic Flu Service
(England) and get a code to collect Tamiflu?
No. If you are on chemotherapy and have a fever (with a temperature of 37.5º C or more) you must
phone The Christie Hotline on 0161 446 3658 for advice. You may have a serious infection called
neutropenic sepsis. If so, you will need to come in to hospital for treatment with antibiotics given through
a drip into a vein. We may also give you Tamiflu or Relenza as well, if your doctor thinks you need it.
I am on chemotherapy and my next treatment is due in a few days time. I’ve been in contact with
someone who has got swine flu. What should I do?
Phone your Christie doctor and let them know. The doctor will give you advice about whether or not you
need to take Tamiflu or Relenza as a precaution. We will probably suggest that you delay
chemotherapy for a week to see if you develop any symptoms of flu.


              The Christie Patient Information Service August 2009. Review August 2012   CHR/690-01/05.08.09

								
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