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Fever, Sweats, and Hot Flashes

Overview

Fever, sweats, or hot flashes may be side effects of cancer or its treatment.

In patients with cancer, fever may be caused by infection, a tumor, or reactions to drugs or blood transfusions.

Sweating is the body's way of lowering body temperature by causing heat loss through the skin. In patients with cancer, sweating may be caused by fever, a tumor, or cancer treatment.

Hot flashes can also cause too much sweating. They may occur in natural menopause or in patients who have been treated for breast cancer or prostate cancer.

Fever, sweats, and hot flashes affect quality of life in many patients with cancer.

A treatment plan to help manage fever, sweats, or hot flashes is based on the patient's condition and goals of care. For some patients, relieving symptoms and improving quality of life is a more important goal than treating the fever to prolong life.

This summary describes the causes and treatment of fever, sweats, and hot flashes in cancer patients.