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On pleural effusions


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I meant to post this last week and forgot. The doctor at MD Anderson explained a little about pleural effusions that I wanted to share.

Evidently, we all normally have about 1/2 cup of fluid between our lungs and the pleural sac that surrounds them, for lubrication. That fluid can build up in cancer patients either because the tumor starts blocking some of the pores in the lung, so the fluid can't pass back and forth like it should, or because of radiation scarring the lung and closing the pores that way. In general, pleural effusion can cause shortness of breath and coughing, but it isn't in itself a big problem, unless there is a lot of fluid or there are cancer cells in the fluid.

Hope this helps with some of the confusion out there.


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Guest Karen C.

Thanks, Becky - great help to me! Dave may have some pleural effusion. We'll know after his PET Scan on Monday. That helps me understand it and worry about it less.

By the way, I thought I posted a reply to your posting about steroids, but they make Dave insane. Just wanted you to know that.

Take care,

Karen C. (Dave C.'s wife)

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