Pleural Cancer Treatment

Tumors located in the cavity between the chest wall and lungs that include pleural fluid are almost always metastatic. Cancerous pleural tumors are commonly secondary cancers that have spread to the pleural region from somewhere else—typically the lungs. Cancer cells travel into this area through the lymph system or bloodstream. They can produce one or more cancerous tumors. Additionally, they can trigger an abnormal amount of pleural fluid in the chest cavity—something known as pleural effusion. When oncologists can extract and evaluate the fluid, it can be used to diagnose pleural cancer. Otherwise, the tumors are often noticed during x-rays for other purposes.

Pleural tumors are found in the pleural space, which is the cavity between the lungs and chest wall that contains lubricating pleural fluid. A pleural tumor is almost always metastatic (cancerous). A cancerous pleural tumor is most often a secondary cancer, triggered by cancer cells that have spread to the pleural space from somewhere else in the body (usually the lungs). It is extremely unlikely that people who have never had cancer before will develop a metastatic pleural tumor. But patients who have had cancer are at risk.

Causes of Pleural Tumors

The common cause of pleural tumors is mesothelioma.

Symptoms of Pleural Tumors

Pleural tumors may not produce any symptoms in the beginning stages or symptoms may be very similar to lung cancer. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing for a long time
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Chest pain

Diagnosis of Pleural Tumors

Pleural tumors do not usually cause any symptoms, so it’s unlikely a patient will realize they have one unless it is found in an imaging test. Some of the most common tests include:

Diagnostic tests and procedures

  • Chest x-rays
  • Computed Tomography (CT scans)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positon-emission tomography (PET)
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Tissue biopsy

Treatment of Pleural Tumors

Some treatment options for pleural tumors include:

Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid carcinogens at work
  • Make and keep appointments to see your doctor for routine check-ups and follow-up tests.

Medical and Surgical procedures

Pleural tumors are typically caused due to complications from mesothelioma, though other types of cancer can also metastasize to the plural region. They are a rare form of cancer, and certainly warrant specialized treatment at a specialty cancer hospital. Trust our team for precision pleural cancer diagnostics and treatment, as well as compassionate care that you won’t find at other cancer centers in NJ.

To contact one of New Jersey’s best lung and thoracic cancer specialists call
844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

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