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scan results show fluid in lung;plueral effusion??pnuemonia?


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I'm new as of this weekend to all of you and looking for insight here. My dad just got results back from his latest scan and the lymph nodes are not showing up and neither is the tumor on his lung which of course sounds like excellent news right??? Well then the pesky issue of fluid around the lung comes up. What is this all about?? He has had two full rounds of carb/taxol as well as 33 radiation tx. Could that have caused excess fluid?? Has that happen to any of you. The doctor said it could have cancerous cells but he doesn't guess that it does. What is pleural effusion and how is it treated. If pneumonia, how is it treated and how serious can that end up being??

I want to be happy but I';m still a little reserved and unsure about this fluid situation. How many of you have had this situation?? I would love to hear input from anyone who has been there. Thank you so very much!!

Blessings to all!!!!

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The fluid could be any of those. If pnuemonia-he would be treated with antibiotics. Hopefully that is it and with treatment he would be OK. Fluid around the lung could be from the radiation as could a pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart). Hopefully that is what caused it and it can be watched and if no symptoms occur that is about all they do. If it is symptomatic then they can drain the fluid and hopefully that will help. It could be the fluid is caused by the cancer. I am not sure what they do at that point except I have seen several people on here talk about having the fluid drained. You do have good news tho-no new tumor growth. We have to look at the good things that come our way when it comes to this disease.


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I had almost 2 litres of fluid removed from my right lung a couple of months ago. It was caused from the radiation. We all have a small amount of fluid encasing the lungs to keep them supple but sometimes scar tissue or whatever causes the fluid to build up. It can contain cancer cells (mind did not). Mine may or may not come back. We just watch and see.

God Bless,


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My husband was hospitalized last week due to breathing problems. They drained 2 liters of fluid from his chest. The pulmonary doctor explained that we all have some fluid but that it drains in a healthy body. When the lymphatic (sp??) system is involved with cancer, that drainage system gets plugged up and the fluid accumulates.

This is my limited knowledge. Anyone else know more?


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I have a slight bit of fluid in there as well -- my doctor said it is fairly common after surgery or radiation and should dissipate/absorb on it's own over time. I know that several other members here have developed the same thing since radiation and were pretty much told to just leave it alone!


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Hi Karen,

I've had a malignant pleural effusion since being diagnosed in April of '03.

A pleural effusion is simply fluid that builds up around the OUTSIDE of the lung and is caused by anything that irritates the lung, like radiation, pneumonia, tuberculosis, even scar tissue. In my case, cells from the tumor spilled over into the pleural area and now I have tumor cells in the fluid. My fluid will never go away, no matter how much they drain it.

(Which I'm going tomorrow to get it drained)

Pneumonia is when fluid builds up INSIDE the lung and can be very serious. That's why most of us lung cancer patients get hospitalized when they diagnose pneumonia. This is treated with antibiotics.

Most likely in your fathers case, the fluid build up has been caused by the radiation and once they drain it, he will definately be able to breath better, and hopefully won't have any more problems with it.

I hope all this helps, feel free to pm me if you need to.


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Thank all of you for your replies and input on this situation.. I'm trying my best to get up to speed on this new and unwelcomed development in my dad's ongoing saga :shock: !!

I can't tell you what an education I receive from all of you and your insight. It is so invaluable. Thanks for your openess and for sharing your experience. TAnn, per your message I did PM you to pick your brain a little more regarding pleural effusions. Thanks for your willingness to educate me on this.

Take care and may God mightily bless you all!!

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