Time, full of anxiety and anxiety – the fight against cancer requires a lot of effort. At the same time, the immune system of a person who has been treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy is weakened. Because these patients are particularly vulnerable to infection. With integrated vaccine prevention, patients can avoid infection, which can become an additional ailment.
The diagnosis of cancer completely reverses the life of the ill person and his family. They face uncertain future and issues that did not arise before: what will happen next? Will I be healthy again? Unexpected disease eclipses the habitual life and dictates its daily routine; the physical and mental load rises at times.
High risk of infection
It is in this life phase that the developed vaccine prevention is especially important, as treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy weakens the immune system. That is why the risk of infection at this time is particularly high. Infectious agents can be, for example, pneumococci, meningococci or the influenza virus. Bacterial pathogens, such as meningococci or pneumococci, can cause severe inflammation of the brain tunic. In addition, pneumococci can cause blood infection or pneumonia. For patients diagnosed with cancer, compared with healthy individuals, the risk of lung inflammation is about three to four times higher. With leukemia, this risk is even higher – approximately four to five times.
Appropriate vaccine prevention prevents new risks from occurring
In addition to vaccinations against influenza, the permanent commission for vaccination at Robert Koch Institute (STIKO) recommends immunocompromised individuals and patients with acquired immunodeficiency vaccine against pneumococci and meningococci. In this case, standard vaccinations – for example, against tetanus and diphtheria – should be regularly updated.
Possible vaccinations after diagnosis are to become a topic of discussion between the doctor and the patient as soon as possible. Ideally, the treating oncologist or family doctor checks the vaccination status immediately after the diagnosis so that the necessary vaccination can be carried out even before chemotherapy or radiotherapy is started. Thus, additional diseases are prevented during already onerous therapy. But even if the treatment has just begun, vaccinations still make sense.
To receive consultation on all questions connected with the diagnosis “cancer”, you can at the City Clinic of Solingen. We are a clinic at the University of Cologne and we have the latest knowledge and developments in this field. At our Clinic the Center for Cancer Control works. Get information you can here:
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Tel .: +49 (0) 212/547 - 69 13
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