Coping with Fluid around the Lungs (Pleural Effusion) in Childhood Cancer

pleural-effusionSymptom 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
  • Pain
  • 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



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 14 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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