Tumor Fevers

  1. Can you tell me what you know about tumor fevers? I'm a new nurse and had never heard of them, and being a new cardiac nurse at that, it isn't something I'm likely to run into too very often.

    I've been taking care of a pt the last few days who came in for falls (r/o syncope/cardiac issues underlying this) and the pt has been feverish for at least a week with no relief from abx that were given to treat a UTI. Tylenol really isn't working to keep the fever at bay, but Toradol brings the temp down to around 101.

    The docs found a mass on the pts liver, and they keep mentioning tumor fevers. I read a little blurb about them, but not a single one of my fellow nurses today had heard of them. Are they common? What is the pathophys here?
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    About dandk1997RN, MSN

    Joined: Feb '10; Posts: 368; Likes: 230
    RN- Cardiology; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Cardiology


  3. by   manda0931
    This is just a wild guess but it's what I would think. I would believe the pathophysiology is the same for anything that would cause a fever. A fever is your body's way of trying to kill whatever is infecting it so could the fever just be an immune response to the tumor in an attempt to "kill" the tumor? I can't remember the exact pathophys for how your body creates the fevers though, so if that's the answer you were looking for, sorry!

    I would think this is something that could be common in patients with an intact immune system because the body is always going try and defend itself the best way possible. Like I said though this is mostly just a guess so if anybody knows any different feel free to correct!
  4. by   iluvivt
    It may be more than one cause. Tumors can produce all kinds of substances for example, many produce procoagulants and pyrogens (cause fever). Also the hypothalmus may be impaired from a tumor or mets.