Malignant pleural effusions are frequent sequelae of metastatic cancer. Approximately half of all patients with metastatic cancer will develop a pleural effusion, with lung and breast cancer accounting for 75% of cases. The development of a malignant pleural effusion often leads to symptoms, such as dyspnea and cough, which significantly reduce the quality of life. Unfortunately, most malignant effusions do not respond to systemic therapy, thereby necessitating other forms of treatment when symptomatic. Currently the main options for the palliative treatment of symptomatic malignant pleural effusion include repeated thoracenteses, placement of indwelling pleural catheters, and pleurodesis. Repeated thoracenteses and indwelling pleural catheters are reasonable options for patients with very short life expectancies. Over time, repeated thoracenteses are inconvenient and the patient must tolerate recurrent symptoms as the fluid reaccumulates.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Difficult Decisions in Thoracic Surgery|
|Subtitle of host publication||An Evidence-Based Approach|
|Number of pages||5|
|ISBN (Print)||1846283841, 9781846283840|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas