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Pleural effusion


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My Mom has been on Tarceva for 2 months, and although the brain CT scan showed some reduction in brain mets, we just found out that she now has increased pleural effusion which is causing shortness of breath, and the largest nodule has increased slightly... Her oncologist has requested that she get the fluid drained, but said that it will return and her situation will only get worse.

I would love to hear people's experience with pleural effusion, how it was treated, the symptoms, etc.



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this is a result of the chemo basically Kind of hard to explain.. The procedure is basically they put in a tube and wait and let it drain out this is the fluid build up around the Lungs I believe I may be wrong as it has been a while for me. The procedure is fairly simple adn mom will feel better afterwards. ususally means a couple of days in ICU so you can be watched constantly.Prayers and thoughts!!

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Hi Rana. When I was originally diagnosed I had 3 litres of fluiid that had built up. It was drained over a number of days. I was told it might come back as well but it never has. If your mom's did return, a permanent draining mechanism could be put in as that was mentioned to me as a possibility. That avoids the need of always having to go in and get it drained. I hope that helps.


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I had problems with recurring fluid in my right lung so they did a pleurodesis. This is a procedure where they insert a tube into your chest - let the fluid drain over several days (you are in the hospital during this time). Then they inject talc into the space where the fluid was, and literally have you roll around to get the talc spread evenly. It seals the space, and is usually effective. I have not had problems with fluid since and that was 1 1/2 years ago. It is a very uncomfortable procedure, and I was in the hospital 7 days (it took 4 days just to drain it). Also - there is evidence now that the talc actually has anti-cancer properties so that's a little bonus to the procedure.

I hope your mom can get some permanent relief as fluid buildup can be quite painful, not to mention the shortness of breath.


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