Jump to content

Seeking Effusion information


patscan

Recommended Posts

When the MD drained her today (twice the fluid in just 6 days)---he mentioned possible "chest wall" involvement and didn't seem optimistic about Chemo halting the fluid build-up. What is your experience with plerual effusion? My mom's effusion was positive for cancer cells. Onc appointment this afternoon, so tying to get more info prior to the appointment. Thanks for sharing your experience. Candy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Candy,

When I was diagnosed in Dec. 2005, I had a large pleural effusion drained (1400 cc). I started my chemotherapy in Feb. 2006 and have never had the fluid build back up. My effusion was also positive for cancer - that was my initial biopsy. So far my scans are stable.

What does your mom's oncologist think? I was told that the chemo would stop the fluid buildup and for me it did . Hopefully,it will work for your mom also. I will keep her in my prayers. Hang in there and try to stay strong.

God Bless,

Sharon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Candy, Sharon did a great job responding. :)

Just want to add that your Mom's spots are pretty small, I can't believe it's migrated into the chest wall with such small tumors. I guess those spots were near the lung edges and that's what caused the effusion?

I will be interested to hear what her docs find out. Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw onc today. They highly recommend the Talc procedure. Because her effusion has come back so quickly (within a week), they want to seal the lung lining before starting Chemo. The reasoning is that if she needs to be tapped during Chemo, the invasive procedure is more likely to cause infection which is a problem during Chemo. Chemo would have to stop, etc... They want to treat her aggressively with Carbon nd Gemzar (spelling?) to start. My mom is leaning towards the Talc first, since it appears massive fluid continues to accumulate. This is a very hard decision, that has to be made by this Thursday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi Candy,

sounds like fair advice.

I had the talc procedure done for a build-up of chyle in the pleural space due to radiation damage somewhere in the chyle drain area. I didn't have any cancer cells in there. While the surgeon was in there, I asked him to take a look around the best he could and snip off anything that looked funny. He said he would. But, he didn't find anything. Whew! Now this was all about 2 years after I had chemo/radiation. I was in the hospital for a week. The first day was rough. After that it got better and better. I was sent home after the drain tube was out but the "hole" was still draining. (yuck!) It started to close up pretty quickly.

The procedure the surgeon used was the VATS technique. I think there were 2 holes punched in my side between the ribs. One for the scope and the other for his instruments. So, the good thing is he didn't have to slice me wide open.

There are things that can go wrong during the procedure. Most of the time it's a piece o'cake.

Seems as if this will be the best route for her to take. Now, rather than later.

Very good luck. Any questions, I will try to help. But, there is a big difference in that I didn't have malignant cells there. I don't know the complications of that.

Cindi o'h

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Candy,

Go with what your Mother feels comfortable with is the best advice I can give.

We've dealt with a lot of pleural effusion over the last few months. Tony has been tapped 7 times with the amount ranging from a low of 800 cc to 1300 cc's. He wasn't on chemo during this time and the fluid was clear of cancer. He hasn't been too keen on doing the talc procedure because he doesn't want another chest tube in and the concept of sealing the walls together worries him that he might become SOB permanently. Our lung specialist is willing to continue with the taps about every other week. However both of our Docs have said that chemo would help the effusion. He currently has 8+ tumors in both lungs and is on tarceva which isn't the "standard" chemo, but unbelievably enough, his effusion is slowing down. Another option presented to us was intallation of drain tubes that we could drain at home ourselves. Again, Tony wasn't too keen on that one!

Make sure you explore all options with both the lung specialist and the onc. before your Mom makes a final decision.

Hoping for the best!

Welthy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It's interesting that it seems like there is no consistency between doctors to do the Pleurodesis or not. Lisa's oncologist seemed to take the hospice route when confronted with Lisa's Pleural Effusion. Rapid build up of effusion can mean a rapid growing metastatic cancer so it needs to be dealth with quickly. It also probably means that the fluid is collapsing the lung and breathing will become more difficult. We had to ambush the pumonologist in the hall ways of the hospital with Lisa's CT scans to get him to admit her and do the procedure. In her case there was no choice. She would not have made it to chemotherapy without the procedure. It was painful for her but it was worth it and she is getting better every day. It's tough trying to be both doctor and caretaker. The pulmonary doctor used a chemical called Silver Nitrate instead of Talc. You might ask her doctor about the difference between the two. Our pulm. doc. said there is better results and less chance of problems with the chemical. Since you first posted in Sept. you may already have taken care of this decision. Let us know.

Chanwit (aka Chuck)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your posts. Mom's pleurodesis was "succesful" and she has been out of the hospital for 12 days. Fluid is gone, however she is having a lot of pain the left side (and today there appears to be a bruise and swelling about 8 inches below the incision site). My questions are: Is lung cancer painful or is her pain assoicated with the Chest Tube procedure or all of the above? Her SOB is still around (not as bad as when she had the fluid), but her lung is in "a state of shock" according to the oncologist...most likely still recovering from the Talc procedure. Bottom line, please send me your "chest pain" stories. Thanks!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lisa only had pain in and around the incision point. Lisa's incision was close to bottom of the lung cavity so 8" below that would be in an area not in the lung cavity. Of course Lisa is only 4' 7" tall and only weighs 85lb so 8" would be a big difference on her body. I think you should alert her pumonary nurse/doctor and her oncologist about this new development.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patscan, I had a pleural effusion and was drained twice, once in the spring of 2004 (was told cancer returned) and in the spring of 2005. In November 2005 had a pleurodesis. I swear that was worse than removing half my lung. It did leave me short of breath . I'm ok on flat surfaces but if I do too much physical labor I get short of breath.

I do have some pain to the touch on my side but not much. I had numbness for most of this year but it is slowly going away. At least I can touch my side now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...