The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Vaccinations/Immunizations and Melanoma Recurrence

Forums General Melanoma Community Vaccinations/Immunizations and Melanoma Recurrence

  • Post
    Jenjen
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

     

    Hi everyone,

     

    My name is Jen and I am  currently stage 3a  (a couple cells in sentinel node), 2.4 mm, melanoma on foot. I was diagnosed when 26, am now 28 and about 18 months NED, after interferon and LND.  I am now taking classes to try and become a nurse and apply to nursing school in about a year. Some of my oncologists (but not all, they disagree on the subject) have mentioned that getting future vaccinations or immunizations could cause my melanoma to come back.  One of my oncs said he had a stage 2 patient who went 40 years without a recurrence, then had a vaccination to go on safari in europe and it came back stage 4. My oncologists at UCSF , dont agree with this, so i feel like i need some additional opinions or knowledge.

    Has anyone heard of this? Or can anyone offer any insight on this subject. To become a nurse you have to get certain vaccinations.( for example: hep b)  I really want to do this but need to know how serious this risk is? And if i have to give up my dream of becoming a nurse.

     

    Any advice or knowledge on the subject would be great.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Jenjen 3a, NED 18 months

    Loading spinner
Viewing 17 reply threads
  • Replies
      washoegal
      Participant

      I too would love to know as I am planning a trip to Africa in September and obviously this would require a large amount a vaccinations.  I have not heard of a link, but would be interested if anyone has any data.

       

      Mary

      Stage 3a

      Loading spinner
      washoegal
      Participant

      I too would love to know as I am planning a trip to Africa in September and obviously this would require a large amount a vaccinations.  I have not heard of a link, but would be interested if anyone has any data.

       

      Mary

      Stage 3a

      Loading spinner
      lhaley
      Participant

      Jen,

      Glad to hear you are doing well!  That is really interesting. I had never heard anything about the immunizations but have to tell you that a few months before my 1st recurrance I had the hep. series of shots!  I was working with severely disabled 5 and 6 year olds that were known to bite. The school district recommended it and paid for the shots.  Now I wonder!  I had been 27 years clear!

      I'll be interested to know what you come up with.

      Good luck with your degree!

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06

      Loading spinner
      lhaley
      Participant

      Jen,

      Glad to hear you are doing well!  That is really interesting. I had never heard anything about the immunizations but have to tell you that a few months before my 1st recurrance I had the hep. series of shots!  I was working with severely disabled 5 and 6 year olds that were known to bite. The school district recommended it and paid for the shots.  Now I wonder!  I had been 27 years clear!

      I'll be interested to know what you come up with.

      Good luck with your degree!

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06

      Loading spinner
      Janner
      Participant

      ASK FOR DATA FROM YOUR DOCS, not anecdotes.  I'm stage IB, had hepatitus vaccinations to go to China.  No problems here.  It's all well and good for some doc to state an anecdote that he had a patient recur 40 years later but that doesn't mean the vaccinations themselves were the culprit.  My doc recently talked about someone who recurred 44 years later but has no clue why.  Tell your doctors who are against it to back it up with data.  If they can't, then I say make the decision that makes the most sense to you.  If you want to be a nurse and have to have hep vaccines, then do it.  I certainly have not read any general research that says vaccines like that are a problem.  So do your own research and have your docs do theirs.  Then make an informed decision!

      Best wishes,

      Janner

      Loading spinner
      Janner
      Participant

      ASK FOR DATA FROM YOUR DOCS, not anecdotes.  I'm stage IB, had hepatitus vaccinations to go to China.  No problems here.  It's all well and good for some doc to state an anecdote that he had a patient recur 40 years later but that doesn't mean the vaccinations themselves were the culprit.  My doc recently talked about someone who recurred 44 years later but has no clue why.  Tell your doctors who are against it to back it up with data.  If they can't, then I say make the decision that makes the most sense to you.  If you want to be a nurse and have to have hep vaccines, then do it.  I certainly have not read any general research that says vaccines like that are a problem.  So do your own research and have your docs do theirs.  Then make an informed decision!

      Best wishes,

      Janner

      Loading spinner
      kylez
      Participant

      Jen,

      I've gotten clashing opinions, completely 180 degrees from each other, from oncologists too. Got the same opinion on it as you did, from my UCSF oncologist.

      At Kaiser I had a discussion with a radiation oncologist — many years at Stanford specializing in brain mets — on whether I should continue a particular favorite activity, that sometimes can result in crashes, broken bones, etc. He said no — I needed to not have big injury events to my immune system. His general concept was, that if my immune system is all that's keeping my melanoma in check, he said I don't want to do anything to distract it from holding off the melanoma. i.e. if I get my teeth cleaned, I should go on antibiotics. That kind of stuff is in the same ballpark as getting vaccinated to travel to Africa.

      My UCSF oncologist, however, said, he wouldn't recommend either of those. That he recommends people just do what they normally want to do. That, the idea that keeping the immune system away from such events, is helpful in fighting melanoma, is highly theoretical.

      I'm inclined to lean toward the opinion of the Kaiser radiation oncologist on this one.

      Loading spinner
      kylez
      Participant

      Jen,

      I've gotten clashing opinions, completely 180 degrees from each other, from oncologists too. Got the same opinion on it as you did, from my UCSF oncologist.

      At Kaiser I had a discussion with a radiation oncologist — many years at Stanford specializing in brain mets — on whether I should continue a particular favorite activity, that sometimes can result in crashes, broken bones, etc. He said no — I needed to not have big injury events to my immune system. His general concept was, that if my immune system is all that's keeping my melanoma in check, he said I don't want to do anything to distract it from holding off the melanoma. i.e. if I get my teeth cleaned, I should go on antibiotics. That kind of stuff is in the same ballpark as getting vaccinated to travel to Africa.

      My UCSF oncologist, however, said, he wouldn't recommend either of those. That he recommends people just do what they normally want to do. That, the idea that keeping the immune system away from such events, is helpful in fighting melanoma, is highly theoretical.

      I'm inclined to lean toward the opinion of the Kaiser radiation oncologist on this one.

      Loading spinner
      DonW
      Participant

      Jen — I agree with Janner that you should ask for studies or data of some kind to back up these statements on immunizations. I've never heard this theory before in the years I've been hanging around here.

      I thought you were a lawyer. Why are you switching to nursing?

      Loading spinner
      DonW
      Participant

      Jen — I agree with Janner that you should ask for studies or data of some kind to back up these statements on immunizations. I've never heard this theory before in the years I've been hanging around here.

      I thought you were a lawyer. Why are you switching to nursing?

      Loading spinner
      Charlie S
      Participant

      I am posting a link to a clinical discussion of this exact point, but because I no longer have a paid subscription, cannot share fully.

      In a post above, I asked  Ellen if she has access and could fully share.

      At any rate, the abstract DOES  offer a basic working knowledge of the question.

      http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~pvpQYfr9CgKK9e

      Charlie S

      Loading spinner
      Charlie S
      Participant

      I am posting a link to a clinical discussion of this exact point, but because I no longer have a paid subscription, cannot share fully.

      In a post above, I asked  Ellen if she has access and could fully share.

      At any rate, the abstract DOES  offer a basic working knowledge of the question.

      http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~pvpQYfr9CgKK9e

      Charlie S

      Loading spinner
      NicOz
      Participant

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2583252/

      section 3.6 mentions vaccinations. Please  note this is a very small study :)

      As for your oncs little anecdote, I'd pay it is much creedence as one who knew someone that went to visit a Tibetan monk and immediately had a spontaneous regression. There are mighty big differences between, coincidence, correlation and causation.

      Loading spinner
      NicOz
      Participant

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2583252/

      section 3.6 mentions vaccinations. Please  note this is a very small study :)

      As for your oncs little anecdote, I'd pay it is much creedence as one who knew someone that went to visit a Tibetan monk and immediately had a spontaneous regression. There are mighty big differences between, coincidence, correlation and causation.

      Loading spinner
        kylez
        Participant

        Nic, thatnks for posting that. That was a great read, 'Environmental risk factors for relapse of melanoma'.

        If I needed any encouragement to ask to switch to part-time from full-time at work, that article was it.

        Loading spinner
        kylez
        Participant

        Nic, thatnks for posting that. That was a great read, 'Environmental risk factors for relapse of melanoma'.

        If I needed any encouragement to ask to switch to part-time from full-time at work, that article was it.

        Loading spinner
      Jenjen
      Participant

      Thanks everyone for your thoughts and the info. I will bring it up again at my next app. And Don, I always wanted to be a nurse practitioner but didn't think i could handle all the blood, guts etc. Got over that really quick over the past couple years!

       

      Jenjen3a

      Loading spinner
      Jenjen
      Participant

      Thanks everyone for your thoughts and the info. I will bring it up again at my next app. And Don, I always wanted to be a nurse practitioner but didn't think i could handle all the blood, guts etc. Got over that really quick over the past couple years!

       

      Jenjen3a

      Loading spinner
      LynnLuc
      Participant

      I don't know about vaccinations so much but I do know my trial doc suggested I get the flu shots etc…and I am in a vaccine trial!

      Loading spinner
      LynnLuc
      Participant

      I don't know about vaccinations so much but I do know my trial doc suggested I get the flu shots etc…and I am in a vaccine trial!

      Loading spinner
Viewing 17 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
About the MRF Patient Forum

The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.