does pleural effusion ever go away on it's own?

this pleural effusion is news to me and i don't know too much about it. can it go away or drain/dry up on it's own? i just read that the majority of pleural effusions contain cancer cells. has anyone read or heard anything similar? is all pleural effusion malignant?

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It is my understanding the cancer causes the pleural effusion. Unless the cancer is treated the pleural effusion will probably return. My mother has had to bouts one month apart. She has had one round of chemo and will have the second this coming Monday. We are hoping the chemo will take hold and prevent further PE's.
To your second question, not all PE's are malignant. Best of luck to you.

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I read somewhere that one in four pleural effusions are malignant. Just yesterday I found out my small pleural effusion - they drained 260 cc's - is clear, that is has no cancer cells. And, I'm not sure whether the cancer always causes the pleural effusion. I had a lot of damage done to my lung by radiation, and suspect it may have been caused by that. The doctors aren't planning on any further treatment now, but who knows, it may come back.


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I had plural effusion fifteen years ago. Although the Dr. was worried that it was cancer it wasn't. Mine was caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had it drained out several times and eventually there was surgery and something was put in , talc I think, and that took care of it. Hope this info. helps.

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easily a blow to the chest can give some fluid, however the fluid and discomfort was the first sign i had breast cancer mets the tumors are fragile and tend to leak i had fallen badly and broke a rib that wasn't diagnosed for 3 mos. , but the doc knew it wasn't just the rib. have 3 drains in 1 1/2 yrs last one last week each one presented differently. its kind of like a look what i can do to you thing just pay attention and talk to doc. by the time i found this i was stage iv, with bone mets and new breast cancer . i guess its just part and parcel of the experience.

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Pleural effusions are caused by several things, like injury, infection or cancer. My husband had a large one |(1800 mL). The MDs thought it was due to pneumonia. However, when the lab results came back, it was malignant and he was diagnosed as stage 3B lung adenocarcinoma. The pulmonologist said (before he knew it was CA) that with antibiotics, the body would slowly reabsorb the fluid as long as the chest and lung walls weren't thickened from irritation from the cause of the effusion, or coughing. He said it would take about 2 months to reabsorb that amount of fluid. So, we elected to have my husband's drained. It came back within a week...but the oncologist said that chemo will make it be reabsorbed-not sure how. After 1 treatment of carbo-alitma-avastin, the fluid seems to have gradually gone away. It's been a week since the treatment, but my husband can tell it is gone or decreased substantially, the pressure is gone. He feels much better. Hope this helps!

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thanks for the info. i put in a call to casey's oncologist. the ct was ordered by a radiologist from a different hosp. he had the ct about 1 week after he finished 4 rounds of cisplatin/gemzar chemo. it appears chemo is supposed to make it go away, not develope while your going thru it. confusing!!!

casey dosn't ask questions, he delagated that to me. we are having our son who is in the military come home for a week tommorow and if i find out anything negative, should i not tell casey till our son leaves? seems shadey, but he has been so despondent while he was on chemo and he is just starting to feel better (16 days after last treatment). he's so excited about our son's visit. seems wrong to ruin it but also seems wrong to keep info secret..

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My husband had PE drained and the fluid returned in days. He had catheter put in for about 2 months that we drained at home - the fluid twice came back as not cancer. It seems the lung cavity reattached once the catheter was installed as we hardly drained any fluid over the two months. He's had it removed for 3 months and so far no return of PE. His scans came back clear in April. The drs feel it could have been a cardiac cause - he has AFib that was not controlled.

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I had it and was hospitalized for about a month. It made my heart rate over 150 lying prone. I had surgery to drain heart and lung fluid. The drain worked sort of (I carried my "gucci" purse for 2 wk. and it kept filling). They decided I was trying to fill a gap made by lung shrinking from rad. So they glued lung lining to lung (a whole other story).
SO. Mine wasn't cancer. Stop reading stats you don't get from us.
Mine was not frm infection. It was just filling space.
It took a lot from me, I now take meds to keep heart rate down because there is still some fluid that won't go, and it does cause pneumonia if I am not careful.
But it is NOT a death sentence, and even if it doesn't all go it's manageable.

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