[MOL] Lung Cancer Series Part 3 [00256] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Lung Cancer Series Part 3



Malignant Pleural Effusion

Pleural space refers to the space between the lungs and the chest cavity. Normally, this space is compressed against the chest wall by the expanded lung tissue. Certain cancers can spread to this space and cause irritation and fluid production. Accumulation of fluids in this space is called "Pleural Effusion."


Symptoms:

Symptoms of pleural effusion depend on the amount of the fluid in the space. The more fluid in the space, the more symptoms a patient will have. Following are the most common signs of this problem:


Diagnosis:

Diagnosis can be established on physical examination of the chest, by chest x-ray or CT scan of the chest. At times, it may become necessary to sample this fluid for evaluation and laboratory study and this procedure is called "pleural tap."


Treatment:

Treatment of malignant pleural effusion should be started promptly and be very aggressive; otherwise, the lung tissue may be damaged. This can be achieved by:

Pericardial effusion

Pericardial space refers to the space between the heart and the cavity surrounding the heart. The heart is located inside a sac, the pericardial sac. Normally, this space is compressed against the chest wall by the expanded heart. Certain cancers can spread to this space and cause irritation and fluid production. Accumulation of fluids in this space is called "Pericardial Effusion."


Symptoms:

Symptoms of pericardial effusion depend on the amount of fluid in the space -- the more fluid, the more symptoms a patient will have. Among the most common signs of this problem are:.


Diagnosis:

A diagnosis can be established on physical examination of the chest, by chest X-ray or CT scan of the chest. The most sensitive test to diagnose this condition is Ultrasound study of the heart. At times, it becomes necessary to take a sample of this fluid for evaluation and laboratory study. This procedure is called "Pericardial Tap" and is done by inserting a needle in the space and draining some of the fluid.


Treatment:

There are more than one approach to treating this condition:

Brain Metastasis

Most cancers have a tendency to spread to other organs, including the brain. Among most common cancers that metastasize to brain are:


Symptoms:

Symptoms associated with brain metastasis are:


Diagnosis:

A CT scan or MRI of the brain can establish a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, treatment should be initiated promptly.


Treatment:

The majority of patients are treated with the following remedies:

Response to treatment depends on a patient's overall condition and the type and extent of the underlying cancer.