January Guidance On The Covid
The UK Chemotherapy Boardhas produced a comprehensive document of FAQson the PfizerBioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinesforhealthcare professionals treating patients on systemic anti- cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, antibody therapy or immunotherapy.
The document outlines that all patients receiving SACT should be considered for a COVID-19 jab.
These FAQs were produced in response to questions by cancer specialists about giving the vaccine to people with cancer receiving SACT. They may be usedby cancer specialists, along with any local guidelines, to help decide the best timing for giving the vaccines in people receiving SACT.
You can talk to your GP or cancer specialist when youre offered the vaccine to discuss timings. Weve got further information about the different vaccines,summarising the guidance from the UK Chemotherapy Board, here.
Aluminum And Kidney Disease
The FDA requires aluminum-based deodorant manufacturers to include a warning label for people living with kidney disease stating Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease. This advisory is for people living with kidney disease whose kidneys are functioning at 30% or less . Typically, aluminum found in your body is filtered through your kidneys. If your kidneys are not fully functioning, they may not be able to effectively filter out all aluminum from your body.
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Is It Safe For Cancer Patients To Get Any Type Of Vaccine
People with cancer can get some vaccines, but this depends on many factors, such as the type of vaccine, the type of cancer a person has , if they are still being treated for cancer, and if their immune system is working properly. Because of this, its best to talk with your doctor before getting any type of vaccine. To learn more, see Vaccinations and Flu Shots for People with Cancer.
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What Happens If I Do Go For My Mammogram Within Six Weeks Of Getting A Coronavirus Vaccine
If you go ahead with getting your mammogram within six weeks of your COVID-19 vaccination and larger-than-usual lymph nodes show up on the test, you will get a call-back for more tests. The doctor may follow up with an ultrasound of the lymph nodes under your arm and request that you come in again in one to three months after that to be sure the lymph nodes return to their normal size.
If you get a mammogram within the first six weeks after your COVID-19 vaccinations and your mammogram is negative for signs of breast cancer and does not show any enlargement of the lymph nodes, your results are considered reliable that there are no signs of breast cancer.
What Is The Issue Breast Cancer Doctors Are Encountering In Regard To The Covid
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, we sometimes see swelling of the lymph nodes in the underarm area on the same side of the body where you received the shot. This is your bodys immune system response, but it can also cause problems because when these lymph nodes swell only on one side of the body and theyre seen on a mammogram, it can create the need for more imaging, follow-up imaging, or a biopsy. It can definitely be a cause of anxiety or stress.
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Swollen Lymph Nodes: Normal Vaccine Side Effect Can Be Mistaken As Sign Of Cancer
As more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, physicians are noticing an uptick in the number of people with enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit area, which can be mistaken as a sign of cancer on routine imaging such as mammograms and CT scans, The New York Times reported March 1.
Swollen lymph nodes are a common immune system reaction to vaccinations and can also occur after getting the flu shot or HPV vaccine. The swelling typically subsides within a few weeks and occurs on the same side of the body where the vaccination was administered.
In response, medical journals and physicians have issued a number of recommendations to avoid the confusion. The Times referenced a research letter published in RadiologyFeb. 24 that recommended postponing routine mammograms and other imaging for at least six weeks after the final vaccine dose. Scheduling screening exams before receiving the first dose is another option.
Constance Lehman, MD, PhD, chief of breast imaging at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, told the news outlet that imaging centers should check to see if patients have been vaccinated, recording when they received the shot and on which side. Dr. Lehman’s clinic has started giving recently vaccinated patients who showed swelling on their imaging an advisory letter informing them that it’s a normal reaction to vaccines and to consult their provider if they feel a lump in their armpit after more than six weeks post-vaccination.
What Did The Study Find
Led by researchers at The Francis Crick Institute and Kings College London, the SOAP study involved 205 volunteers 54 people who didnt have cancer and 151 people with cancer who were undergoing immunosuppressive treatment .
Researchers measured the level of antibodies in the volunteers blood to examine their immune response to the COVID-19 virus. The study has shown that detectable antibody responses at week 3 following the first dose of the vaccine were found in:
- 38% of the group with solid cancers
- 18% of the group with blood cancers
- 94% of the group without cancer
The study found that when the second dose was given at this point , immune responses were found in 95% of the group with solid cancers 14 days later . Not enough participants with blood cancer received a second dose to know if this improved their response.
In contrast, those with cancer who did not get this second dose at 3 weeks saw no real improvement at 5 weeks:
- 30% of the group with solid cancers
- 11% of the group with blood cancers
- 86% of the group without cancer
The researchers suggest these results could show that a gap of 12 weeks between doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could leave many cancer patients vulnerable to severe COVID-19. The study does not suggest that people who were treated for cancer some time ago might be less likely to have a positive response to a single dose the vaccine.
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Symptoms Of A Breast Boil
Symptoms of a breast boil can range from mild to severe. In the beginning stage, a breast boil may be mistaken for a pimple. However, with time the boil can become warm to the touch, red, and filled with pus. People with a weakened immune system may develop a deep infection resulting in an abscess. Breast boils are usually quite painful.
Hiradenitis suppurativa is a disease that is often misdiagnosed as an infected hair follicle or sweat gland. If left untreated HS can form deep, painful lumps that leak pungent-smelling liquid.
Should Breast Cancer Patients Get A Flu Shot
Breast cancer patients with weakened immune systems need to be protected, especially during flu season.
Its early November, and flu season is upon us. Medical professionals and public service announcements warn that its imperative to get vaccinated against Influenza. But is it wise for a woman with a compromised immune system to allow a virus, dead or alive, to be injected into her body? According to the CDC, when a live virus is introduced, the body immediately begins fighting. Antibodies surround the virus and attack. The host may experience typical flu-like symptoms of fever, fatigue, body aches and pains. And while the flu usually runs its course in a week to 10 days, it can last longer. Many dont understand the potential danger associated with Influenza and forego the annual vaccination. They look at the flu lightly, as just a step above a nasty cold, but deaths have been reported from Influenza.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can leave a breast cancer patient with an extremely low white cell count. When the lymphocytes reach numbers below 20, doctors say the immune system is low or compromised. Were advised to be careful in public and do whatever necessary to keep germs at bay.
– Live vaccines are made of weakened live virus and given as a nasal spray people with cancer should NOT get the nasal spray vaccine.
– Inactivated vaccines are made of dead virus. They are given as a shot.
– Wash your hands often.
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November Extremely Vulnerable Given High Priority For Covid
The provisional priority listpublished by Public Health England has listedpeople aged 18 years and over who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable as the same priority as the over-70s to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
People considered clinically extremely vulnerableare those who were asked to shield during the pandemic, and include:
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
Although this prioritisation list is subject to further potential changesas the vaccine is still waiting approval from theMedicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ,those considered clinically extremely vulnerable have now been placed in priority group 4 of 9. Based on these changes, the interim guidance, advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation , says the order of priority should be:
What About Family Members And Caregivers Of Those With Cancer Is It Important That They Get Vaccinated
This is an underappreciated question. If you think about a vaccine strategy, if some people with cancer arent going to be fully protected by the COVID-19 vaccine, one of the best ways to protect them is to give the vaccine to people who will respond well. And that means anybody who they spend time with. So, anybody who is a caregiver, a loved one, or is in close contact with somebody with cancer, its important for them to get vaccinated and boosted, wear masks when out and about, avoid crowds, and take any other preventive measures.
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Will The Vaccine Be Effective If Im Having Treatment
Although we dont know for certain how effective the vaccine will be for people having treatments such as chemotherapy or targeted cancer therapies, its likely to still offer some protection against the virus.
During treatment you will usually have regular blood tests to check your white blood cell count. A reduced white blood cell count may mean youre more at risk of infection.
However, it doesnt mean that your body is less capable of developing immunity from the vaccine. This is because different parts of the immune system are involved in this process.
You may be advised to have the vaccine at a specific point during your treatment cycle when your immune system is at its healthiest.
A very small study has suggested some cancer patients had less protection after their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine compared to people without cancer.
People with cancer are advised to follow their doctors advice about having the vaccine.
Are Researchers Collecting Data On How Effective The Vaccines Are In People With Cancer
A number of research groups are studying COVID-19 vaccine efficacy in people with cancer, from those with solid tumors to those receiving bone marrow transplants. For example, there are researchers looking at people who have blood cancers, like CLL or CML, because they are more likely to have immunodeficiency over a long period of time. Data from immunosuppressed patient populations have indicated that additional COVID-19 vaccine doses in the primary series and boosters can help improve immune responses in some people with cancer.
Every cancer doctor wants to know the answer to the question: How do my patients respond to these vaccines? There are lots of analyses that still need to be doneand so many subgroups of cancer patients and cancer treatments that require additional study. The more data we have that characterize vaccine responses in individual cancer populations, the better we can advise patients.
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Do I Have To Get The Same Vaccine For My Booster Dose
No, not necessarily. For people 18 years of age or older, the CDC allows for mixing and matching of vaccine doses for booster shots.
If you are concerned about your risk of COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated, its important to talk to your doctor about whether you should get additional doses of the vaccine, as well as what else you can do to help lower your risk of infection.
September Jcvi Update Advice On Booster Jab
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has updated its advice on the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme today.
To maintain a level of protection against COVID-19 during the winter months, the JCVI is advising that booster jabs are offered to those more at risk from serious disease, and who were vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccine programme: priority groups 1 to 9.
Todays update includes expanding the groups eligible for a booster vaccine, outlined in their original announcement , to now include:
- Those living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 50 years or over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Those who were vaccinated early during phase 1 of the initial vaccine rollout will have received their second dose approximately 6 months ago. The JCVI has suggested that the booster vaccine programme to begin in September 2021, as soon as operationally practical. .
The guidance that was suggested by the JCVI has been accepted by the Government, and all four UK nations will follow the JCVIs recommendation.
Please contact your GP or specialist if you have any questions based on your individual circumstances.
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March Initial Data Suggests Single Dose Of Pfizer Vaccine Less Effective For People With Cancer
Awaiting independent review by other scientists, initial data from the worlds first reported trial examining the level of immune protection conferred to cancer patients after the PfizerBioNTech vaccine has been released today.
The results have been covered by BBC News and others, suggesting that people with cancer may not get the same level of protection after the first dose as people without cancer. While this information may be worrying for people with cancer, there are some things to take into consideration when looking at the results, as our head information nurse explains.
This is an interesting study and its important to assess how cancer patients are responding to the vaccines being rolled out. But at this stage, we are looking at data that hasnt been peer-reviewed, where other experts in the field would flag errors and limitations within the results, said Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK.
The numbers of patients looked at in the study are also relatively small, particularly for those with blood cancers. We know that this information could be worrying, but anyone undergoing cancer treatment should continue to follow the advice of their doctors, and we encourage all who can to take up the vaccine.
Do Antiperspirants Increase A Persons Risk Of Breast Cancer
There are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim.
In fact, a carefully designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.
A study published in 2003 looked at responses from questionnaires sent out to women who had breast cancer. The researcher reported that women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age said they used antiperspirant and started shaving their underarms earlier and shaved more often than women who were diagnosed when they were older. But the study design did not include a control group of women without breast cancer and has been criticized by experts as not relevant to the safety of these underarm hygiene practices.
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When Should You Get The Flu Shot
The CDC recommends getting the seasonal flu shot as soon as it becomes available in your community typically in the early fall. Although we tend to associate flu with the winter months, flu season can begin as early as October.
People receiving chemotherapy can get the flu shot at any time. However, your doctor might advise you to wait and get the shot when your white blood cell count is at a peak, usually a day or so before your next cycle of chemotherapy is about to begin. There are two reasons for this:
- The higher your white blood cell count, the more effective the shot is likely to be. Remember that the flu shot is going to teach these cells and your entire immune system how to deal with the influenza viruses should they enter your body. The more white blood cells that are present to respond to the viruses in the vaccine, the better.
- Any side effects of the flu shot might be confused with infection. Although most people dont have side effects, some can experience soreness, swelling, fever, and/or body aches. Your doctor will be watching you closely for any symptoms of infection, especially when your white blood cell counts are lowest.
If your white blood cell counts are staying low throughout your chemotherapy and you need a flu shot, you should still get one. If youre experiencing any serious side effects from chemotherapy, such as fever or chills or possible symptoms of infection, your doctor may want to delay the flu shot until these improve.