A recent study found that flu vaccines could protect men against prostate cancer but that it was the flu that caused a spike in deaths from prostate cancer.
The study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention, found that men who received flu vaccines between December 2013 and September 2015 had a 15 percent higher risk of death from prostate cancers.
“Although flu vaccines are relatively well-tolerated in the United States, the risk of complications is high,” Dr. Richard C. Hernstein, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
“Patients may experience a variety of side effects from the flu shot, including fever, rash, joint pain, cough and diarrhea.
These are all signs of flu-related complications.”
The researchers said that if flu vaccines were used as part of the routine treatment for prostate cancer, the risks of death would drop by about 40 percent.
But if flu shots were given to people who did not need treatment, it was estimated that about 3,000 men a year would die from prostate tumors each year.
“I don’t know of any randomized trial that has looked at whether flu shots prevent prostate cancer,” said Dr. Jonathan M. Goldsmith, the lead author of the study and a professor of internal medicine at Columbia University.
“This is the first study to demonstrate flu vaccine efficacy and safety.
It is important that the public receive information about the safety and efficacy of flu vaccines, so that they are able to make informed decisions.”
The study was conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
It included 528 men, ages 50 to 73, who were either receiving flu shots, who did NOT need treatment for their prostate cancer or were in remission for the cancer.
They were followed up for 18 months.
They had a total of 5,988 tests.
The researchers found that prostate cancer was associated with more death in the flu vaccinated men than those who did receive treatment, and there were more deaths from flu-induced pneumonia than from flu pneumonia alone.
About 1,000 people in the study died from flu complications during the study.
In contrast, flu vaccination reduced the risk for death from both pneumonia and flu pneumonia.
The flu vaccine was effective against pneumonia, but not against flu pneumonia or influenza complications.
“The fact that the flu vaccine is safe in the absence of complications suggests that flu vaccine effectiveness is not due to a flu vaccine’s efficacy against flu,” Goldsmith said.
He said that the data shows that flu vaccination does not guarantee protection from prostate carcinoma.
“There are still many questions about flu vaccination, including its safety and whether it is effective against prostate cancers,” Gold Smith said.