Pleural Cancer Treatment

Tumors located in the cavity between the chest wall and the lungs that include pleural fluid are almost always metastatic.

Cancerous pleural tumors are commonly secondary cancers that have spread to the pleural region from somewhere else — typically the lungs.

Cancer cells travel into this area through the lymph system and bloodstream. They can produce one or more cancerous tumors. Additionally, they can trigger an abnormal amount of pleural fluid in the chest cavity — something known as pleural effusion cancer.

When oncologists can extract and evaluate the fluid, it can be used to diagnose pleural effusion cancer. Otherwise, the tumors are often noticed during X-rays for other purposes.

Learn more about pleural cancer causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Why Choose Us for Pleural Cancer Treatment

Together with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we have the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, meeting the highest standards in cancer research, treatment, prevention and education in the nation. We offer the most advanced treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and access to clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere.

Logos of The Rutgers Cancer Center of New Jersey-Rutgers Health and NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center

New Jersey’s Largest Network of Cancer Specialists

We offer access to New Jersey’s largest network of cancer specialists, including nationally and internationally recognized oncologists, radiation oncologists, advanced practice nurses and oncology support professionals with advanced credentials in cancer specialty care with expertise in lung and thoracic cancers.

Our Oncology Nurse Navigators Will Guide You Through Your Pleural Cancer Journey

Oncology nurse navigators help secure appointments, coordinate follow-up visits related to treatments and procedures and guide you through aspects of survivorship.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best lung and thoracic cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

Pleural Cancer Causes

The most common cause of pleural cancer is mesothelioma, which is lung cancer that is related to asbestos exposure.

Pleural Cancer Symptoms

Some of the most common pleural cancer symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing for a long time
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Chest pain

Pleural cancer symptoms may not present in the beginning stages of the condition. Or, pleural cancer symptoms may be very similar to lung cancer symptoms. It is important to see a doctor as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms. He or she will ask you how long you have been experiencing symptoms as well as other questions that will help figure out the cause of your problem.

Pleural Cancer Diagnosis

Pleural cancer does not usually cause symptoms, so it is unlikely that a patient will realize they have the condition unless it is found on an imaging test.

Some of the most common diagnostic tests and procedures include:

  • Chest X-rays
  • Computed tomography (CT scans)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron-emission tomography (PET)
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Tissue biopsy

Pleural Effusion Cancer Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for patients with mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months after diagnosis. Some patients may have a longer pleural effusion cancer life expectancy, depending on the pleural effusion cancer stage, tumor location and mesothelioma cell type.

Pleural Cancer Treatment

Lifestyle changes for pleural cancer include:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid carcinogens at work
  • Make and keep appointments to see your doctor for routine check-ups and follow-up tests

Medical and surgical procedures for pleural cancer include:

  • Lung resection. A surgical procedure to remove all or part of the lung.
  • Chemotherapy. Medicines or drugs are used to kill tumor cells.
  • Pleurectomy. A surgical procedure that removes the pleura, or lining of the lungs.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy. A surgical procedure that removes a diseased lung, part of the pericardium (the membrane covering the heart), part of the diaphragm (the muscle between the lungs and the abdomen) and part of the parietal pleura (the membrane lining the chest).
  • Radiation therapy. High-energy X-rays or other particles are used to kill cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy. Drugs or other substances are used to precisely identify and attack certain types of cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy. Boosts the immune system so it can find and attack cancer cells.

Pleural effusion lung cancer is typically caused by complications from mesothelioma, though other types of cancer can also metastasize to the pleural region. It is a rare form of cancer and certainly warrants specialized treatment at a specialty cancer hospital. Trust our team for precision pleural effusion lung cancer diagnostics and treatment, as well as compassionate care that you will not find at any other centers in New Jersey.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best lung and thoracic cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

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