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Having mild headache, fever. Blood test done. What are the chances of having cancer?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 53 Questions

Since last saturday (5 days) i have been feeling not very well and it seems to me it has been progressing slightly.

I have a mild headache or rather pressuring feeling in front of the head, neck and nape. The major concern is a fever which seems to return every day at around 3 PM and goes up to 37.2-37.5, then disappears during the sleep. Last night I took a fervex which took the temperature down but it is back again tonight.

On Sunday I gave the blood tests and then the CRP was 8 (max 5) but the CBC was prefectly OK. Unfortunately I do not have this on paper. However, I did the same today and now the CBC looks not so good at all. Could you kindly advise how bad this is?

I am very much concerned of having a cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, etc) - would this be indicating something like this as it seems to be progressing since sunday?

With best regards
Posted Fri, 27 Jul 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 10 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I don't think there is anything to worry about with your illness. It looks like a simple viral or bacterial illness. It should subside on its own or with a course of antibiotic. It is not suggestive of cancer.

I hope I have answer your query, feel free to ask further queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having mild headache, fever. Blood test done. What are the chances of having cancer? 39 hours later
Thank you! Cold you kindly advise for how long can this take? It will be one week on Sunday, is it OK to have this for longer than a week? And what could be possibly causing this? It is every day the same scenario - fever of 37.1-37.3 comes from 5 Pm and is gone by the morning, accompanied by mild headache in front of the head, somewhat stiff neck and small chills.

With regards
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 7 hours later


Thanks for writing in.

Fever due to viral illness might remain for say 7 - 10 days; however the other prodromal symptoms may persist for a bit more.

Besides this, evening temperature 37.1 to 37.3 is absolutely normal phenomenon. According to circadian rhythm evening body temperature always remains high, so need not to worry.

If you are having sore throat, cough with expectoration then you can start taking course of antibiotics for few days.

I also would like to suggest you to take steam inhalation 4 to 5 times in day which will definitely help you.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available for further queries if any

Wish you good health

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having mild headache, fever. Blood test done. What are the chances of having cancer? 10 days later
Hello again!

My doctors ran a few tests and always when you are in their office, you forget to ask all the vital questions - perhaps you can kindly guide me a bit further?

Basicly what they found out was the cytomegalovirus, both tests were positive which means that the virus is active. They also found several reactive lymphocytes but I did not get what it means.

Doctors said that there is no cure for this, that eventually it will disappear. Now for 6 days I have not had a fever. The doctors said to wait some 3-4 weeks with new tests but I could not resist and did the complete blood count again. The CRP was down to normal but the CBC still had elevated number for WBC (11.82, XXXXXXX 10) coming mainly from increased lymphocytes. I called my doctor, he said it is normal in a case of such a virus to still have the numbers up.

Would you agree with this and if so, for how long can the lymphocytes stay up?

With best regards
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 24 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
I would agree with your physician. Cytomegalovirus is a self limiting infection. No treatment is offered or is required since the body perfectly takes care of this on its own. Reactive lymphocytes refers to an increase in the lymphocytes when there is some process ( like an infection or a cancer) that the body is trying to fight. This is a normal phenomenon and can be expected to settle down on its own.
The lymphocytes would typically stay elevated for 4-6 weeks. Sometimes, they may take some more time to settle down.
Dont worry. You're absolutely fine and these things will settle down soon.
Hope this helps
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Follow-up: Having mild headache, fever. Blood test done. What are the chances of having cancer? 3 minutes later
Thank you!
You mentioned me the cancer, does this mean that I might have one?

With regards
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 7 minutes later
Thanks for writing back.
It does not mean you have cancer. All it means is that cancer is one of the conditions which the body is trying to fight and thus the lymphocytes increase in number.
You can be reassured that you're absolutely fine.
Take care
I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you do not have any queries, please close this discussion and rate this answer
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