Coping with Fluid around the Lungs (Pleural Effusion) in Childhood Cancer
Symptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.
Pleural Effusion is a build-up of extra fluid in the pleural space, which is the space between the lungs and the chest wall. Around 50% of people with cancer develop a Pleural Effusion.
A Malignant Pleural Effusion is when cancer grows in the pleural space. In excess of 75% of individuals with a Malignant Pleural Effusion have Lymphoma or Cancers of the Breast, Lung, or Ovary. This condition is considered a sign of Metastatic Cancer, or cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.
Although a Malignant Pleural Effusion is treatable, it can be a serious, potentially life-threatening condition.
Relieving side effects is an important part of total cancer care and treatment, which is why you should discuss any symptoms your child is experiencing, new symptoms and changes in symptoms with their Oncology Team so that they can work out a regimen of palliative or supportive care for them.
Individuals with a Pleural Effusion may experience the following symptoms:
- Dry cough
- Generally feeling unwell
- Heaviness or tightness in the chest
- Inability to exercise
- Inability to lie flat
- Shortness of breath
A Pleural Effusion often requires treatment in a hospital or clinic. The most common treatment is to drain the malignant pleural fluid.
Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Fluid around the Lungs on our static page, Pleural Effusion/Malignant Pleural Effusion
Posted on 14 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged cancer, Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Children with Cancer, Fighting Cancer, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, Pleural Effusion, side effects. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.