Does genital herpes become problematic or dangerous if a person who has it must undergo breast cancer chemotherapy, and cannot take Neulasta to boost the white cell count? My husband has herpes, and I have never gotten it after 14 years. I'm 56. Two years ago I had breast cancer (1 cm., mostly-invasive, ductile carcinoma), e.r. positive, grade 3, negative lymph nodes. During chemo I had a severe allergic reaction to Neulasta and couldn't continue taking it, hence my white cell count was problematic throughout the treatment. After treatment,my wbc climbed to around 4.5 (Spring '08)and now has been 3.2 for 6 months, although my neutrafils have been in the normal range. As far as I know I don't have cancer now. But I'm afraid to have sex with my husband without a condom (i'm post-menopause), because I'm afraid that now I might be more susceptible to getting herpes, and that if I were to ever need chemo again, herpes infection would be dangerous, given my wbc concerns. True or not? Thanks.
It has never been proven that immunity continues to remain suppressed for years after chemotherapy for breast cancer. (Prolonged immunosuppression has, however, been associated with other chemotherapy drugs like fludarabine etc). There is no data to prove that 2 years after chemotherapy, you would be more likely to contract a viral infection like herpes. Also, there is no data to prove that if at all you were to acquire such an infection, it would be more fulminant than in a person who has never received chemotherapy.
I doubt that your chances of getting herpes would be any lesser if your WBC was a 4.2 instead of 3.2.
What do you mean when you say that your husband "has" herpes. Does this mean that he has active herpetic lesions now? Or is it that he has had herpes 14 years ago? If you feel more comfortable with condom protection, please go ahead and use it.
Relax, enjoy yourselves, and dont make a big issue about this.
All the best, and God Bless!
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