Author(s): NeragiMiandoab S
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Abstract Malignant pleural effusion is a common and debilitating complication of advanced malignant diseases. This problem seems to affect particularly those with lung and breast cancer, contributing to the poor quality of life. Approximately half of all patients with metastatic cancer develop a malignant pleural effusion at some point, which is likely to cause significant symptoms such as dyspnea and cough. Evacuation of the pleural fluid and prevention of its re-accumulation are the main goals of management. Optimal treatment is controversial and there is no universally standard approach. Intervention options range from observation in the case of asymptomatic effusions through simple thoracentesis to more invasive methods such as chemical and mechanical pleurodesis, pleur-X catheter drainage, pleuroperitoneal shunting, and pleurectomy. The best results are reported with thoracoscopy and talc insufflation, with an acceptable morbidity. Development of novel methods to control malignant pleural effusion should be a high priority in palliative care of cancer patients. This article reviews the current, as well as, novel approaches that show some promise for the future. The aim is to identify the proper approach for each individual patient.
This article was published in Lung Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine