Watch Out for Fever

Photo of a man looking at a thermometer and calling his doctor

Call your doctor if you have a temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher.

If you get a fever during your chemotherapy treatment, it’s a medical emergency. Fever may be the only sign that you have an infection, and an infection during chemotherapy can be life-threatening.

You should take your temperature any time you feel warm, flushed, chilled, or not well. Call your doctor immediately if you have a temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher.

You should also—

  • Find out from your doctor when your white blood cell count is likely to the be the lowest, since this is when you’re most at risk for infection.
  • Keep a working thermometer in a convenient location and know how to use it.
  • Always keep your doctor’s phone numbers. Make sure you know which number to call when their office is open and closed.
  • If you go to the emergency room, tell the person checking you in that you are a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. If you have a fever, you might have an infection. This is a life-threatening condition, and you should be seen quickly.