Pneumonia vaccine before chemo?

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Question from KySandy: I started my chemo two weeks ago. It seems of all the surgeons and doctors I've been to, no one suggested a pneumonia vaccination. I was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia just 10 days after my first treatment.
Answers - Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. It is very much a possibility that even if you'd received the shot, you may still have had this complication. The pneumonia vaccine is effective in many patients against one type of bacterial infection. Receiving an immunization and then starting chemotherapy may lower the effectiveness of the immunization. It is not my standard practice, therefore, to recommend the pneumonia vaccine before starting chemotherapy.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Chemotherapy Updates featured Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about advances in chemotherapy treatment: different types of drugs and regimens, how to reduce or eliminate unpleasant side effects, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2002.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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