Are there any contraindications for a breast cancer survivor receiving a shingles vaccine? I had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer with 1 positive sentinel node in 2004. I received chemotherapy and radiation at that time and am currently taking Arimidex daily. I am 60 years old this month and would like to avoid shingles as I had chicken pox when I was little, but I don't want to increase a chance for recurrence of breast cancer. There was some confusion when I asked a nurse at the county health department since I did have a positive lymph node. I have received my influenza vaccine every year and hope that there are no contraindications for it.
I had an episode of shingles after my chemo. I was in isolation for a week. I asked this question to my oncologist. He said if I had shingles, the vaccine would not help me. BUt I don't think he was sure. From what I am going through, I feel they should give people a shingles vaccine as a precaution before starting the chemo. But I don't think there is enough knowledge among oncologists on this topic.
Thanks for your quick response, I appreciate it. That is an interesting idea to immunize people against shingles before chemo and I would hope it is something that is being studied. It makes sense that when your immune system is weakened by chemo you are susceptible to shingles. At least those of us are who had chicken pox as a child. I am going to ask my oncologist his opinion at my next appointment. That must have been a horrible experience to be hit with shingles right after chemo.
Not sure about the shingles vaccination....but you asked about the flu shot also...that is NOT contraindicated...in fact I was told when I was diagnosed to get it before starting the chemo...and I continue to get it every year.
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