What are the signs of an infection in a child or adolescent with cancer?

Author:  Dipl.-Biol. Maria Yiallouros, Gesche Tallen, MD, PhD, Editor:  PD Dr. med. Gesche Tallen, English Translation:  Hannah McRae, Last modification: 2015/01/13 https://kinderkrebsinfo.de/doi/e121676

Signs that may indicate an infection in the body include:

  • fever (body temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius or higher, as measured in the mouth or under the armpit)
  • general malaise, fatigue
  • pain (for example headaches as a sign of a shunt infection or abdominal pain associated with an infection in the gastrointestinal tract)
  • localized redness and/or tenderness (for example at a cental line's exit site or after surgery)
  • swelling (for example in the area of a surgical wound or under the skin at the site of a drain)
  • cough (as a sign of a respiratory tract infection)

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General malaise - with or without fever - can indicate an infection.


Do not hesitate to notify the care giver team if you suspect an infection in your child. There are no "stupid questions"! It is better to be safe than sorry.