Living With CLL During Flu Season: What Vaccines Are Recommended?

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Topics include: Understanding

During this Ask the Expert segment, renowned expert Dr. Jeff Sharman, from the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center and The US Oncology Network, answers an important question on many chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients’ minds this time of year; “what is recommended for CLL patients during cold and flu season?” Dr. Sharman discusses the relationship between immunity and cancer, and suggested vaccines to help prevent infections. Watch now to learn more.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank AbbVie, Inc. and Pharmacyclics for their support.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

What are you telling your patients about vaccines?  My friend Jeff Folloder said somebody at MD Anderson had them maybe getting two flu shots. 

So you don't get as much protective benefit if you have CLL as somebody without it.  I don't think, at least, I'm not familiar with data that says two flu shots are better than one.  It may be out there and I'm not aware of it, but I mean I could understand why you might.  It at least biologically makes sense.   

And I guess the reason why I curse shingles so frequently is because it does seem to go part and parcel with lymphomas and CLL.  Again, you have a cancer of the immune system.  The immune system doesn't work as well, and, boy, I can't count the number of times where somebody gets shingles just as their CLL is acting up and then it delays treatment, or somebody is going through treatment with a lot of pain as a result.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on November 29, 2018