Jump to content

Tumors gone...but now pleural effusion? I don't get it.


Recommended Posts

Hello there - thanks for all your kind words for my dad. He was told yesterday that he has no sign of tumors...and if he walked in off the street...the doctor would have said "you don't have cancer." However, the doc did say he has a very small amount of fluid build up - pleural effusion. But not enough to remove. From my research on P.E. on the web...it's often cancerous. So why would a doc say "no sign of cancer" when there'd P.E. happening? What should I think? I want to rejoice in the tumors that vanished, but feel like now there's a cloud. Is P.E. a huge deal? Could it just be fluid? Any input would be awesome!!

Thanks again - I pray for everone on this site daily - and I am constantly amazed at the way you all are coping and SURVIVING. Bless you all.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shawna,

This list of causes of pleural effusion is quite long, as you probably know. At the top of my differential diagnosis, based on his history, would be radiation induced and pleural mets. If he's feeling well and not having any trouble breathing, it's probably OK and there isn't any need to do a therapeutic (just to help breathing) thoracentesis (pleural tap) but I'd really like to have a better idea that it is not the cancer. If there is enough fluid, I'd go for the diagnostic (to test the fluid and diagnose the cause) thoracentesis and if not that, at least a PET scan. Malignant PE will usually light up on PET and benign ones don't.

If he's concerned that there's so little fluid that it would be a technically difficult procedure, then a good procedural radiologist could probably do it under ultrasound guidance. I don’t want to second-guess his doc but this is something to think about and ask about.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Post surgery, I saw my onc for a follow up. He saw a small plueral effusion around my r. lung (which had a lobectomy), and my heart on an x-ray. Eleven days later, my surgeon said it "wasn't anything that needed treatment." Both doctors concured that given the trauma of all the treatment I'd gone through, this was a universal symptom. My surgeon stated that your "lungs normally have a gelatinous like substance surrounding them for protection." Malignant plueral effusions are caused usually by tumors blocking drainage, and can make breathing difficult. I know this can be very scarey, but try to stay positive. Don, a good friend on this board always says, "Don't borrow trouble." I hope that it is nothing.

God Bless,


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.

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...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.