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Side Effect: Flu-Like Symptoms

What are Flu-Like Symptoms?

Flu-like symptoms are a set of clinical manifestations that resemble those of a viral infection from influenza (flu). These symptoms can be seen in patients with cancer due to their malignancy or as a medication side effect and resemble having the flu, even though they are not infected with the influenza virus.

What do Flu-Like Symptoms look like?

The presentation of flu-like symptoms can vary depending on the individual. The onset of flu symptoms can be sudden or gradual, and they can range from mild to severe. These symptoms may include fever, fatigue, weakness, body aches, headache, chills, and shivering.

Flu-Like Symptoms

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Who gets Flu-Like Symptoms?

Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and kidney cancer can experience flu-like symptoms due to these diseases. These symptoms are part of what is commonly referred to as “B-symptoms” or “constitutional symptoms”. B-symptoms include: fever, unintentional weight loss, and drenching night sweats.

Certain medications used to treat cancer can also cause flu-like symptoms. Some examples include:

How do you treat Flu-Like Symptoms?


1) Foggo V and Cavenagh J. Malignant causes of fever of unknown origin. Clin Med (Lond) 2015;15(3):292-294.

Created: March 6, 2024 Updated: March 8, 2024