• Chances of pneumonia

    Asked by armk520 on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Chances of pneumonia

    My FIL is supposed to start chemo this morning, but has been wheezing terribly and had a slight fever yesterday. I know that chemo makes one more likely to get sick, and I'm worried about him getting pneumonia.
    Will the doctors still do chemo if he is having these problems? And what can we as care givers do to help reduce the chance of pneumonia?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      No, his chemo will most likely be postponed. He could have anything from pneumonia to the flu, a cold, allergies, bronchitis, or emphysema. They will check his WBC prior to each chemo treatment. If it gets to low, they will postpone chemo.If he doesn't already have pneumonia, and once his current condition clears up, he can get a pneumonia vaccination.

      about 4 years ago
    • armk520's Avatar
      armk520

      @nancyjac
      Thank you. I was unaware there was a vaccination for pneumonia.
      Is there anything at home we can do to help reduce his chances of getting sick while going through chemo, besides the obvious (sanitizing, hand washing, asking sick people to wait to visit)?

      about 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar
      ticklingcancer

      If his white blood cell count gets too low, they may give him a boost with neupogen or neulasta. Both work great and will help reduce his chances of getting sick.

      about 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar
      ticklingcancer

      Oh, and as Nancy said, if he is sick, they will most likely postpone chemo. Especially if it's pneumonia or the flu.

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I wouldn't hurt to take his temp daily during chemo. A fever is a sign of infection and if it goes over 100 degrees he needs to seek medical attention. Also, he needs to not share food, utensils, glasses, etc. with others and if he eats any raw food, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned.

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      They will most probably postpone his treatment. Even a low grade fever can be dangerous when you're on chemo. I had a bad case of bronchitis last month, and missed two weeks even though I had no fever when I saw my oncologist. The pneumonia vaccination only protects you from the viral type, you can still get bacterial pneumonia.

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      One pneumococcal vaccine used in adults protects against 23 strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. It is called pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and marketed under the brand name Pneumovax. PPSV23 is made using dead bacteria. The dead germs cannot make you sick.

      Viral pneumonia is rare in adults and more commonly affects children. It has a totally different vaccine.

      about 4 years ago
    • LuvinSis' Avatar
      LuvinSis

      My sister, currently in treatment for lung cancer, had pneumonia and the flu in the last few weeks. She was admitted for pneumonia for around 3 days, went home for 2 days and was readmitted for over a week (just discharged last week. She may have picked up the flu while in the hospital the first time. As of today her chemo will be delayed another 3 wk. If he's running a fever call the doctor immediately to get him checked out ASAP.

      about 4 years ago

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