Decorative image

Where infections commonly start

Fever can be one of the first symptoms of an infection somewhere in your body. It is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight off the infection.

Where infections commonly start

A fever in itself is not usually dangerous, but the infection that causes it can be. It is very important to tell your doctor if you develop a fever so they can treat the infection that is causing it.

An infection can occur anywhere in your body. The most common places are:

  • the mouth and throat
  • the skin
  • the lungs
  • the kidneys and bladder, especially if you have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder
  • where a drip or central line goes in (cannula sites and PICC line sites)
  • wounds and where wound drains go in
  • ulcerating tumours

Other less common places are the:

  • liver and abdomen
  • gullet (oesophagus)
  • vagina and anus
  • brain and spinal cord

Treating an infection

Treatment depends on the type of infection you have. We have a section on treating fever and infection. 

Last reviewed: 
21 Jun 2017
  • Cancer and its management (7th edition)
    J Tobias and D Hochhauser 
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

  • Cancer: Principles and practice of oncology (10th edition)
    VT DeVita and others
    Lipincott Williams and Wilkins, 2015

  • Neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management of neutropenic sepsis in cancer patients

    National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), September 2012

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.