Calling Your Cancer Center: What Constitutes an Emergency?

Cancer is a devastating disease that can come in many forms and affect various parts of the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, by 2040, almost 75% of American cancer survivors will be 65 or older. If you or someone you love is dealing with cancer treatment, you should know what constitutes an emergency. Here is some information about when you should contact your local cancer centers for emergency care.

High Fever

When you’re dealing with cancer, you should always be aware of your body temperature. A body temperature of 105 degrees or higher indicates a bad fever. Fevers usually occur when the body is fighting off an infection. If a fever becomes way too high, such as in the event of heat stroke, it could cause damage. Since your immune system may already be compromised, your doctor should be alerted immediately when infection is possible.


Call your local cancer centers if you’re bleeding in areas unexpectedly. Such bleeding may occur in your nose or gums. Look out for blood in your urine or signs of blood in your stool. An indication that you may have blood in your stool is when it is black or tarry-looking.

Bowel Issues

You may have to make an emergency call due to your bowels. In addition to looking for signs of bloody stools, you should also call for help if you’re experiencing severe diarrhea. Diarrhea happens when your stool comes out very watery. On the other hand, you may also become severely constipated, and it may take days before you make a bowel movement. This constipation may come with severe abdominal cramps that could cause you to double over.

Intense Pain

Your oncologist will likely have you on some type of pain medication to manage your symptoms. However, if your pain has become excruciating to the point where medication no longer works, you may need to call your local cancer centers. A major cause for alarm may be chest pains, especially if followed by shortness of breath.

Cancer can be a painful disease for anyone to deal with. That’s why it’s essential to know when you have an emergency and who to contact. If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, such as intense pain, profuse bleeding, bowel problems, and more, contact us at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists for help.

Posted 5/24/24

Contact Us Now

SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT or seeking SECOND OPINION? Complete this form and we will contact you within 24-hours.