Drain tube in lung...

Hi there. I'm brand new to this site. My dad was diagnosed with stage III non small cell lung cancer april 1. Things are moving very fast and we are all still trying to take everything in. My question is does anyone out there have or have a loved one who has a drain tube in their lung? They are telling dad that this would be a better option than coming in occasionally for a needle aspiration (sp?) to drain fluid that may accumulate in the plura (again with the spelling, sorry)...he has had a bad reaction to the chemo, and the neulesta booster and yesterday, day 8 after 1st chemo treatment, sores in the mouth.....any advice, words of wisdom, anything I would greatly appreciate...

Thanks a bunch!

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I'm guessing that they are going to drain pleural effusions? If so, here are a couple of links to information sources that might be of some use.
Dr. West has written a couple of good pieces on it at his website, "OncTalk" (it's now moving to cancergrace.org)
http://onctalk.com/2007/03/17/intro-to-pleural-effusions/
http://onctalk.com/2007/03/18/mpe-managment-options/
Hope that's of some help to you.
-bev

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Thank you bev...the articles were helpful!

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Hello,
My dad also has nsclc but stage 4. He had a drain tube put in for a few weeks. It worked wonders in terms of his cough, which all but went away after 1-2 days with the drain. He had it removed for now but they may put a long term one in at a later date (depending on how well the chemo works to decrease the fluid). I'd say the only down side was that he was in the hospital when the tube was put in, which made him more susceptible to infection (any opening in the body increases the risk).

He also had a treatment done called pleurodesis, which is a procedure that causes the membranes around the lung to stick together and prevents the buildup of fluid in the space between the membranes. Talc powder or an antibiotic is put into the space between the pleura (the two layers of tissue lining the lungs) which causes an inflammation that tacks the two pleura together. This procedure can close the space between the pleura to prevent the reaccumulation of fluid. My dad's doc said that it is succssful in 80% of the cases. It didn't work with my dad but it's something to ask your dad's docs about.

My dad also had sores in his mouth from the antibiotics (he had pnemonia) They gave him a swish and swallow called magic mouthwash. It has ingredients to treat the sores, as well as a pain reliever.

Other then that, all I can tell you is try to stay positive and stay focused on today. You and your dad will be in my thoughts.
Joanna

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Joanna,
Thank you so much for writing. I read some of your background about your dad, what you guys have been through. It is just overwhelming to me, you are an inspiration, to all that know you, especially your dad. I hope I can offer someone just a ounce of what you've already given me by just responding to my one note, it just lets me know that my dad is not the only dad out there going through this horrible, horrible ordeal...emotionally he's not dealing with this well, and we don't know how to help him and the doctors are coming at him from all angles telling him things need to be done and I just think he feels totally out of control of everything...does that sound crazy? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...

Thanks again,
Donna

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Hi Joanna --
I am new to this as well. My father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV nsclc. My husband and I are the primary caregivers. He had a tube inserted into his lung a week and a half ago. It has helped him tremendously. His cough is completely gone and his breathing is normal. He can actually lay down now and take prolonged naps. Before he slept sitting up on the couch. It was the only way could get some relief. I am sure that there will be more to come, but for now this seems to be a great option rather than going in every couple of days to be drained.
My best to you and your family.
Sandy

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How old is your Dad? Did they insert the tube after surgery or a bronchoscopy?

My Dad was diagnosed with NSCLC on March 23rd. He had his surgery/bronchoscopy on that day and he passed away on March 26th. I'm not saying that this will be the case with your Dad and am praying that it's not.

My Dad's symptoms just worsened so quickly just prior to his diagnosis; cough, pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and weight loss.

They inserted a chest tube for my Dad and indeed this was better than continuous aspirations of the lung. The surgeon told me very honestly (and for that I am grateful), that there was no hope and that putting him through treatment would just prolong the sufferring. I am my Dad's POA, so I knew he would not want that. We just kept him as comfortable (medications) as we possibly could and he passed within 5 days of the surgery.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions or be of any help to you during this time. God bless you and your Dad.

Warmly, Janet

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Has the fuild drained from his lung, has it been tested, I had the same problem, and it tested that I had, what was found. New mass lesion with associated abnormal increased FDG uptake abutting the left anterior pericardial surface, suspicious for a new focus of metastatic disease. And what was done after having it drained twice.

Effect of chemotherapy on the lungs

Some chemotherapy drugs can affect the way that your lungs work.
The lung tissue can get thicker and less flexible, so that it can make
it harder for you to breathe. This can happen gradually over months
or years. During the chemotherapy and afterwards, your doctor will
check how well your lungs are working, if you are having drugs that
are likely to cause lung problems. If the chemotherapy does affect
your lungs you may find that you get breathless if you do exercise
or walk uphill or upstairs. Let your doctor or nurse know if you feel
breathless.
· It is possible to have the fluid drained off. But it will almost
certainly build up again. You can have it drained again as you need to.
Each time you do, there is a risk that you will develop an infection in the
area where the needle is put in. And you will have the discomfort of the
fluid build-up affecting your breathing.

The treatment you are about to have is to stop the fluid from building
up in the first place. The talc will irritate the pleura and that makes them
stick together. Then there is no space for the fluid to collect. It should
be easier for you to breathe. If the treatment doesn't work completely
the first time, you can have it repeated.

There is information in CancerHelp UK on breathing problems caused
by cancer that you may find helpful. This includes more information
about fluid on the lung.

The fluid collects between them and is called a pleural effusion.
When you breathe in, the lungs expand. When you have a pleural effusion,
they can't expand as far because the fluid is taking up space that the lung
would otherwise expand into.

Pleurodesis: A procedure that causes the membranes around
the lung to stick together and prevents the buildup of fluid in
the space between the membranes. This procedure is done
in cases of severe recurrent pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs),
as from cancer, to prevent reaccumulation of fluid.
In pleurodesis, an irritant (such as Bleomycin, Tetracycline,
or talc powder) is instilled inside the space between the pleura
(the two layers of tissue lining the lungs) in order to create
inflammation which tacks the two pleura together.

This procedure thereby obliterates the space between the
pleura and prevents the reaccumulation of fluid.

The treatment of a pleural effusion involves slowing the build-up
of the fluid and draining it to relieve the symptoms.
The drain is usually inserted by a doctor. You will be asked to
sit either on a chair or on the edge of the bed and then helped
to lean forward over a table with a pillow to bend on so that
your back is exposed. The doctor will decide where to insert
the drain – usually in the side of the chest. The skin over the
area where the drain is to be inserted is cleaned with an antiseptic
solution to prevent the area from becoming infected. The doctor
then gives you an injection of local anaesthetic to prevent the procedure
from being painful.
It is possible to have the fluid drained off. But it will almost certainly build
up again. You can have it drained again as you need to. Each time you do,
there is a risk that you will develop an infection in the area where the needle
is put in. And you will have the discomfort of the fluid build-up affecting your breathing.

The treatment you are about to have is to stop the fluid from building up in
the first place. The talc will irritate the pleura and that makes them stick together.
Then there is no space for the fluid to collect. It should be easier for you to breathe.
If the treatment doesn't work completely the first time, you can have it repeated.

There is information in CancerHelp UK on breathing problems caused by cancer
that you may find helpful. This includes more information about fluid on the lung.

I am now recovering form this procedure, surgery, only problem I did develope was I snizzed to hard, and it felt as having broke a rib, the pain is going away, but have to watch myself as I cough or snizze,
so far no fuild builtup has been detected.

I checked the net on what was found and it is claimed, comes from Abestos, so I contacted an Atty, who sent a investigator to follow up where I once worked, which was in my early years construction work, back in the mid 50's. Hope this helps on any follow ups your dad should look into. Clearwater

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Clearwater,

Thanks for writing. Dad is having a procedure called a pleurx catheter put in. They had talked about the "glue" if you will, but decided that this catheter would be a better option for him. He had a chest tube when he initially went into the hospital about 6 weeks ago and then on april 1st they did a thorocentis. Just yesterday they did a chest x-ray and it shows just a little fluid. When they tested the fluid it came back negative for any signs of cancer cells. But now we here from the ONC that just because that one test came back that way, that the fluid may not actually be cancer free? I don't know. A major problem with dad right know is that the tumor is pressing on his windpipe and has caused his vocal chorde to be paralyzed so he cant cough, swallow very well, speak very loud and he gets this phlegm stuck and he just can't get it up and it drives him CRAZY! Any suggestions with that?

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Janet,
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My dad is 64 was diagnosed on April 1, 2007 with Stage 3 nscc, the tumor is pressing on his windpipe and his lympe nodes are very enlarged along his trach. His vocal chorde is paralyzed on the right side too, which has caused his voice to go, he can't cough well, swallow so well, or get this phelgm up that just drives him nuts. Anyway the tube that they are putting in his chest is called a pleurx catheter and they are doing it as an outpatient procedure this friday. They say you just hook up this tube to a pump and when you feel like you have fluid in your lungs you pump it out...my dad says "how am I supposed to know when I have fluid on my lungs"... I guess I understand why they are doing this because fluid sitting there while on chemo is just a breading ground for infection, but he's just so down and really doesn't want this procedure...what to do?

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Ty for your reply Tdsgirl, not much help I can give you, but did lookup the Pleurx Catheter and how it works, link enclosed, I just saw my doctor today and got the great news, that no more cancer was found, nothing in the report show postive, I have a great doctor in my area of Wa. Vancouver, if you wish I can send you the address to write my doctor and request an option on your dads problem, not says he is in the best hands of his doctor, but my doctor has done wonders, where others doctors wanted to cut me up and having to have a side bag for waste for life due to my Rectal Cancer Tumor, I was against it, since the Tumor was so low, why not remove it from from there, this was done and tumor removed, and was Cancer free, but my ONC stated that I have these treatments as a safety, to kill unwanted cells that may have remained, my Lung problem started from the Chemo and Radiation, and the fuild tested with Mesothelial Cells, this new report shows negative quote ( We cannot totally exclude a malilignant mesotheiloma ), so I my not be out of the woods yet. Now if this was all dorment, that chemo made it break lose, sad to say that Chemo can cause more unneeded problems then what it curses. If you wish e-mail me me at clearwater@comcast.net for my doctors address if you wish an option from him, can't say he will, but no harm in trying, we all look for some type of help and thats the only way to find it. Clearwater

A note sent to me regrading the Pleurx Catheter.

Hi Ray, After several different Chemo treatments I had fluid buildup in the lungs. I had this fluid tapped many times. I finally went to a different Pulminoligist at the Cleveland Clinic who suggested a Plurex Cathidor to be able to drain the fluid. After about six weeks there was no more fluid and the cathidor was removed. That was almost a year ago and I have not had the fluid problem again. Peter
http://www.denverbio.com/physician_pleurx_catheter.html

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