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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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On medication for fever and cough. Found lump on breast. Should I consult a doctor?

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Dr. Aparna Amritsagar

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1997

Answered : 274 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 in General Health
Question: My girlfriend started with fever a week ago yesterday so for 8 days she's been running fevers as high as 102.7 for 8 days. Her doc on mon said it was viral and sent her home, she's been coughing her brains out this week, called her doc thursday and he called her in bacterium antibiotic, she's been on the antibiotic and still no improvement. As a side note she's a cancer surviver, cancer free for 10 years, found a lump on her breast three weeks ago, had a sonogram and is scheduled for a needle biopsy this coming weds, her cancer surgeon who reviewed her sonogram is confident it's nothing to be concerned about but wants the biopsy nonetheless. She's at her wits end and is very scared not knowing what appears to be some kind of flu, how or why she's had a fever and coughing for 8 days with no signs of improvement. Should I take her to the emergency room to have some blookwork done or continue to wait it out? Very grateful for any help with this, I hate to see her suffer!!! We don't know what to do???
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aparna Amritsagar 32 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for writing to us.

Viral fever or any bacterial fever usually responds to treatment in a period of week. Since she is taking antibiotics & still the fever is not under control that means she is not responding to the antibiotics. She could either be resistant to that antibiotic or she is having some other underlying disease. Fever of 102.7 is a high grade fever which needs an immediate evaluation.
So as far as the fever is concerned, we do need to take her to the ER right away and get a few basic tests like a Complete blood count, ESR, urine examination and X-ray chest done on priority basis.
Its unlikely that these symptoms are related to the cancer.
As far as the lump is concerned, it is better to get a biopsy of the breast lump done. First sign of breast cancer is unusual lump in breast.But that doesnt mean that all lumps in breast are cancer. So biopsy of the lump is a must to differentiate malignant & benign swelling.

I hope i have answered your query. If you have any further question i will be happy to help you.Take care.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Follow up: Dr. Aparna Amritsagar 2 days later
Thank you. I took her to the ER and she's been in the hospital ever since with pneumonia. They have her on strong antibiotics via IV and it looks like fever may have finally broke last night, they won't let her go home until she has no fever for 24 hours. Again, thanks for your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aparna Amritsagar 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX,

Good to hear that you took your girl friend to ER & a right diagnosis was made early. Since the fever has come down that means she is responding to antibiotics. So don’t worry & don’t be in a hurry to take her home. Your doctor is right usually patient is discharged only after a fever free period of 24 hours. She will be fine so don’t worry.
Take care & wishing your girlfriend a speedy recovery.
Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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