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Posted by Raven on Mar 4, 2020 8:52 pm

I am fine after a diagnosis of cancer more than a year ago but got recently diagnosed (and suffering from) shingles. Is this coming in cancer patients or preceeds a cancer diagnosis?

Re: Shingles

Posted by Wendy Tea on Mar 5, 2020 12:04 am

Raven‍  I got shingles just before my diagnosis and I actually felt quite run down at the time. My friend got shingles after chemo.

The important thing is to take antiviral meds and stay ahead of the pain. Set your alarm and take pain meds every 4 hours even in the night. Once the pain gets away from you it would take me 3 hours to get it under control.  

Today I got a prescription for Shingrix but I can't receive the shots until at least 12 months after my shingles eruption in order that the vaccine be most effective. The single shot vaccine is not effective. Shingrix is a 2 dose vaccine. 
I am a survivor. Wendy Tea

Re: Shingles

Posted by Essjay on Mar 5, 2020 7:43 am

Raven‍ we get shingles due to a re-emergence in our bodies of chickenpox virus. It tends to occur as we age, and there is a vaccine that helps cut the chances of you getting it (won’t help you now of course)...
Did it happen because you had cancer? If you had chemo, your immune system took a bashing, so it may have given the virus a chance to do it’s thing.

Hope you can get some relief for the symptoms and feel better very soon.

Essjay xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Shingles

Posted by Raven on Mar 5, 2020 8:18 am

Thanks @Wendy Tea@ and Essjay‍ ,
I have painkillers but have not had to use them (yet), I can tolerate it with heat packs. I did not have chemo, just a hysterectomy, but that was over a year ago.
I have lost 36 lbs though (intentionally) with the help of an appetite suppressant (Saxenda) since Oct last year. 
I was just wondering if more cancer patients had shingles as you read that some articles in the scientific literature hint there may be a correlation. I know plenty of people in my surrounding who have had it and never had cancer though. 

Re: Shingles

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Mar 5, 2020 1:15 pm


I too got shingles a year after treatment completion.  It was suggested to me at the time that my very depleted body was a good target for it.
That was 7 1/2 years ago and haven't had anything since but definitely thinking about the vaccine going forward.
I know how painful it can be - I hope you manage through it okay


Re: Shingles

Posted by WBCumm on Mar 28, 2020 1:08 am

I had shingles a couple of years before I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.  The shingles were on  the lower left of my back; the cancer was colorectal.  No idea if the two were related.

Brock C.

Re: Shingles

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 29, 2020 8:24 am

WBCumm‍ , When my Dad developed prostate cancer, he started having “little signs” that something was right, but or him it was more food allergies. I remember that he developed a pretty bad reaction to tomatoes all of a sudden, and to this day, h maybe eats a half dozen eggs in a year. Something similar happened again around the time he ended up having to go back for radiation. It’s hard to know - all of his doctors said there likely wasn’t anything to it.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Shingles

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Apr 7, 2020 8:10 pm

Interesting question, I was diagnosed by a GP for shingles, but I am not sure how accurate his diagnosis was.  He put me on a shingles medication which had an adverse effect on me.  I got sick to my stomach.  It eventually cleared and it was not long after that my Breast Cancer diagnosis came.  Maybe?