Metastatic pleural tumorTumor - metastatic pleural
Metastatic pleural tumor is a type of cancer that has spread from another organ to the thin membrane (pleura) surrounding the lungs.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
The blood and lymph systems can carry cancer cells to other organs in the body. There, they can produce new growths or tumors.
Almost any type of cancer can spread to the lungs and involve the pleura.
Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath
Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
Coughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for cough...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
Malaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath
Breathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airRead Article Now Book Mark Article
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will examine you and ask about your medical history and symptoms. Tests that may be done include:
- Chest x-ray
A chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- CT or MRI scan of the chest
A chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Procedure to remove and examine the pleura (open pleural biopsy)
Open pleural biopsy
An open pleural biopsy is a procedure to remove and examine the tissue that lines the inside of the chest. This tissue is called the pleura....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Test that examines a sample of fluid that has collected in the pleural space (pleural fluid analysis)
Pleural fluid analysis
Pleural fluid analysis is a test that examines a sample of fluid that has collected in the pleural space. This is the space between the lining of th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Procedure that uses a needle to remove a sample of the pleura (pleural needle biopsy)
Pleural needle biopsy
Pleural biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of the pleura. This is the thin tissue that lines the chest cavity and surrounds the lungs. The bi...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Removal of fluid from around the lungs (thoracentesis)
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Pleural tumors usually can't be removed with surgery. The original (primary) cancer should be treated. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used, depending on the type of primary cancer.
The term chemotherapy is used to describe cancer-killing drugs. Chemotherapy may be used to:Cure the cancerShrink the cancerPrevent the cancer from ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Radiation therapy uses high-powered radiation (such as x-rays or gamma rays), particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Your provider may recommend thoracentesis if you have a lot of fluid collecting around your lungs and you have shortness of breath or low blood oxygen levels. After the fluid is removed, your lung will be able to expand more. This allows you to breathe easier.
To prevent the fluid from collecting again, medicine may be placed directly into your chest space through a tube, called a catheter. Or, your surgeon may spray a medicine or talc on the lung surface during the procedure. This helps seal the space around your lungs to prevent the fluid from returning.
You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.
The following organizations are good resources for information on cancer:American Cancer Society -- www. cancer. orgAmerican Childhood Cancer Organiz...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
The survival time varies greatly from several months to several years. Outlook depends on:
- The location of pleural tumors
- The cell type of pleural tumors
- The stage of the tumor
- The person's age and general health
- Whether surgery is an option
- The person's response to treatment
You and your family may want to start thinking about end-of-life planning, such as:
- Palliative care
- Hospice care
- Advance care directives
- Health care agents
The 5-year survival rate (number of people who live for more than 5 years after diagnosis) is less than 25% for people with pleural tumors that have spread from other parts of the body.
Health problems that may result include:
- Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Continued spread of the cancer
Early detection and treatment of primary cancers may prevent metastatic pleural tumors in some people.
Arenberg DA, Reddy RM. Metastatic malignant tumors. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 79.
Davies HE, Sterman D, Gary Lee YC. Pleural malignancy. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 114.
Wald O, Izhar U, Sugarbaker DJ. Lung, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 58.
Review Date: 4/29/2022
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.