Fluid in sac around Heart has cancer cells

Has anyone had a permanent "window" cut out of the sac around the heart in order to drain fluid? The surgeon removed 2 pints of bloody fluid from around the heart and put in a temporary drainage tube which drained another couple pints. The drainage tube was removed after 3 days, but now the fluid which contains cancer cells will drain either in to the chest cavity or the lungs. We had to get the fluid off the heart and a way to keep it from repeating, but it just doesn't sound good to me to now have that fluid with cancer cells going in to the chest, etc. Anyone have any experience with this???

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Just had the same procedure a few weeks ago. Emergecy surgury. Onc says because there was blood in the fluid that it shows cancer cells are now evidently going thru my body. On third day the fuid startesd coming out clear so they removed the tube. 3 days in ICU. 4 more days in hospital. But the fluid does not drain into lungs or chest but into stomach were it is disposed as waste.
Went for a second opinion at Dana Farber yesterday, and Onc agreed that I probably won't get fluid build up again in heart sack, now that I'm off gemzar. Bad news is that I have 2 to 6 months left of quality life. Please read my profile and last post. We are very similar. Good Luck. Live, love and laugh. Mariet

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Thanks so much for the reply Marie. I did read your postings and am so sorry you had to go thru so much in order to get the diagnosis. My husband's diagnosis and surgery actually was pretty quick. We were lucky. Did you have the "postage stamp size window" removed from the sac around the heart and then the drainage tube for a few days?
My husband has Stage IV lung cancer which was pretty much under control until it spread to the brain, spine and meninges. He's being treated for that now, but at the most recent PET scan, it had a hot spot where the original cancer was in the lung plus some new spots-- lymph nodes and by the stomach and by the colon. I know the original cancer left minute cancer cells everywhere it spread to. But it seems very scary to me that it is/was in the fluid around the heart and now there is a postage size window in that sac that lets the cancer cells go ---- wherever -----. Is this why the doctors "prediction" is such a short period of time???? My husband has defied all odds and the doctor says he's not making any more time predictions for him-- and I wish the same for you. Keep fighting-- they aren't always right and they are just quoting statistics most of the time anyway!!

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My dad had this in march and he was in the cardio ward for 12 days with no rehab for the stroke he endured where he was 8 hours on the floor. In the end tablets to drain the fluid , however we saw swollen feet with him about 2 weeks ago and then we was so worried called up the hospital to get a echocardiogram reseceduled from 28th of april to a closer date they refused and said call a your general practitioner(docter). So we did all he said was put your feet up and orderd some atiseptic cream for the tarceva rash even though he dident no tarceva was being given to my father. This is all in the rehab center... then he had a mild heart attack last week sunday night. Its been 7 days and now there sayings its not urgunt so we still have to wait until 28th april. This is all happening in London

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I was suppossed to have a postage stamp size cardiac window, but when the surgon made the incision my blodd pressure fell precarousliy low so he opend me up another 8 inches and used his hand to quicken the procedure.

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Wow MarieT and Ali. I feel very fortunate for my husband's experience at least with this part of his cancer. He got the Echocardiogram the next day and was in surgery the day after that and it went well. No hassles from the doctors or the insurance company.
My concern right now is the cancer cells going out that "window" from his heart into the chest cavity or wherever it will go. Did your doctor address that at all??

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Once you have either pleural or cardio effusion, you have stage IV lung cancer and the cancer cells can spread. Cancer cells, though, will only land where there is a weakness. That is why it is important to be paying attention to making your immune system as strong as possible.

I had a gallon of fluid a week drained for over two months until the Tarceva kicked in and killed the cancer cells that were blocking the exit of the fluid from around my right lung. During that time, I had no mets to any other part of my body. I was working hard, though, on all those things recommended in the book Anti-Cancer to fortify my body as I realized the cancer was circulating.

It's important to be watching the albumin number on his blood test. If that goes down, it reflects a loss of protein from the fluid loss. Guess albumin should be above 3.8. Lower numbers, according to my oncologist, is one of the best predictors of life span with cancer.

Hope you are able to get the effusion under control. Let us know. This is a tough issue.

My very best wishes,

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It's taken me awhile to get back to you. Since the surgery, my husband is having a terrible time with swelling around his ankles, calves and feet. I just did a general posting on that.
I can't find the report, but I think his albumin was around 2.5. Did you post a book to read or a website??? I seem to remember something, but can't find the post. Thanks.

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