Does Cancer Cause Fever?

Cancer written on Board

Cancer itself is not typically a direct cause of fever. However, cancer and its treatments can sometimes lead to fever as a secondary or associated symptom. Here are some ways in which cancer can be related to fever:

  • Infection: People with cancer, particularly those undergoing cancer treatments that weaken the immune system (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy), may be more susceptible to infections. Infections, such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, or bloodstream infections, can cause fever.
  • Tumor-Related Fever: In some cases, certain types of cancer, like lymphomas or leukemias, can directly lead to fever as a symptom of the disease. This is often referred to as a “tumor-related fever.” Fever can occur as the body’s response to the cancerous cells.
  • Treatment-Induced Fever: Certain cancer treatments, such as immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or radiation therapy, can cause side effects, including fever or an elevated body temperature. Some individuals may experience treatment-induced fever as a reaction to the therapies.

It’s important to differentiate between these various causes of fever and to seek medical attention if you have cancer and experience unexplained or persistent fever. In some cases, fever can be a sign of a serious infection or a side effect of treatment that requires prompt medical evaluation and management.

Cancer patients should maintain open communication with their healthcare team and promptly report any new or unusual symptoms, including fever, to ensure they receive appropriate care and treatment.

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