Immunizations help cancer patients protect themselves during treatment and sometimes prevent certain cancers.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor for cervical, vaginal, penile, anal and mouth/throat cancers. It’s recommended that boys and girls get vaccinated against HPV at ages 11 or 12.
- Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) can lead to liver cancer and is the only cancer causing hepatitis that has an immunization. See the CDC recommendations for vaccination.
- Influenza or Flu vaccine is recommended for people receiving active cancer treatment, often before treatment starts1. You should NOT get the nasal spray because that is a live weakened virus.
- Ask your doctor if there are any immunizations you should or shouldn’t get while you are going through treatment. Vaccines made with live attenuated (weakened) viruses should NOT be given to patients with weakened immune systems including people receiving chemotherapy.
Your spleen is an important part of your immune system. It produces white blood cells that help your body fight infection. When your spleen is removed or isn’t functioning properly, your risk for infection increases. If your spleen will be removed, your surgeon will instruct you to get certain immunizations at least 2 weeks before your surgery. Recommended vaccines include Pneumococcal vaccine, Meningococcal vaccine and Flu Vaccine.
Three places to get immunized:
- Travel Clinics such as Passport Health
- Your county health department
- Drugstores like CVS and Walgreens*
Talks with your healthcare provider about what immunizations are right for you
*PearlPoint Nutrition Services does not endorse any commercial products or services. Mention is for informational purposes only.