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Shingles
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Shingles

Hi

I finished chemo and radiotherapy last April for IBC (intermediate grade).  I have had shingles twice since in two different areas and was wondering if this has something to do with breast cancer?  Also was is intermediate grade IBC, eg.. 1, 2,3 etc.

Thanking you

Dolly
Tags: shingles
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7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry that should read Alo what is intermediate grade - is it 1, 2 or 3

Dolly
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326352_tn?1310997895
Shingles wouldn't be directly related to your bc, however you getting it twice would be because of a compromised immune system due to chemo.  Shingles is the same virus as chicken pox and once you have it, a recurrence is almost a given....although that is a little too close together.  I had shingles when I was in my twenties and feared I would get it again when I had chemo.  Luckily not.  Talk with your primary care physician about things to help boost your immune system.  That should help your body be able to fight off the recurrence a bit better.

And you know shingles will follow along a nerve line, so it can have residual pain even a decade later.  That has been my biggest problem.  I have one spot underneath my good breast that will hurt and itch like the devil for about a week every so often.  Quite annoying.

There is a high powered antibiotic that not all people can tolerate that will help you, if you didn't get anything to help the shingles.  I'm sorry can't remember the name (that chemo brain really did mine in), but I think it started with a Z?????

May you not have that again!  Or BC for that matter!
Lisa
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Inflammatory breast cancer is classified as stage 3B in all cases except in cases where it has spread to distant lymph nodes or distant organs when it is classified as stage 4.

About the shingles, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are known to depress the immune system and this could be the cause of shingles in your case.

What does your oncologist have to say about this?
Were you put on any medications for it?
What symptoms did you have? and what sites were involved?
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Thanks for your reply.  I had invasive BC, which I don't think is the same as inflammatory, or is it?  I was told it was intermediate grade and I was wondering what stage that is.

Secondly I had shingles around my right breast towards my back(same area I had radiated) about two weeks post radiation (last April).  The second lot of shingles were around my left hip area.  I was prescribed Zovirex 400mg five times daily.  The pain and itch has gone but "spots" still there.  I am not due to see my oncologist for another 3 months so havn't mentioned it to him.  Should I go back sooner?  Do  you think it has any thing to do with  BC.  Thanks for all your help.
Dolly
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Avatar_f_tn
HI,

It would be best if you could tell us the size of the tumour, its spread to lymph nodes etc so that the exact stage can be told.

About the shingles- you can continue taking the medications prescribed. you do not need an emergency appointment if the lesions are regressing.

But in case the lesions are persistent and not healing or new lesions appearing it would be advisable to call up your oncologist and reschedule your appointment.

It is not directly related to your breast cancer but the radiotherapy and chemotherapy that you are getting. This could be suppressing your immune system.

Do let us know about your progress.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Thank you for your reply.  The tumour was 12mm max dimension and 1 lymphnode contains 2 intralympyhatic isolated tumour clusters and micromilliscopic deposits in 3 in lymph nodes.  It was HER2 1+ neg and positive for oestrogen and progesterone.  Does that make sense?  I would be grateful if you could stage that for me.

Many thanks

Dolly
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

From what you describe it fits into stage 3A.

I would still advise you to confirm this with your oncologist.

Do keep us posted about your progress.

Good luck.
Regards.
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