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Infection in the Cancer Patient 

Infection in the Cancer Patient
Chapter:
Infection in the Cancer Patient
Author(s):

Sri Raghavan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199976805.003.0054
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date: 28 June 2022

Cancer patients have increased susceptibility to a variety of both common and atypical infections due to the steady increase in outpatient chemotherapy regimens, these patients are presenting more often to the emergency department when acutely ill. Already immunocompromised, patients’ chemotherapy regimens lead to neutropenia, deficits in cellular and humoral immunity, and disruption of mucosal barriers that predisposing them to severe disease presentations with high morbidity and mortality rates. There are different subsets of oncologic patients predisposed to specific infections. One of the most common presentations of oncologic chemotherapy patients is neutropenic fever caused by bacterial infection; neutropenic patients are also highly susceptible to fungal infections. Patients with hematologic malignancies, particularly those undergoing chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant, can present with inflammation of the cecum with high risk for bacterial translocation and possible perforation. Patients who have indwelling catheters or mediports are at risk for catheter-associated bloodstream infections.

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