Malignant pleural effusions are a condition of malignancy. Malignancy is a common cause of pleural effusions generally and it is responsible for almost 40 per cent of symptomatic pleural effusions. The other major causes are congestive heart failure and infection. Conditions like lung cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma and leukemia lead to approximately 75 per cent of all malignancy-associated effusions.
The aim of the malignant pleural effusions is to give relief from breathlessness. At times the treatment of underlying cancer can cause resolution of effusion. A simple aspiration of pleural fluid can relieve breathlessness fast but the fluid and symptoms will usually recur within few weeks. It is because of this that more permanent treatments are usually used to prevent fluid recurrence. The standard treatment includes chest tube insertions and pleurodesis. But, this treatment demands the patient to stay for approximately 2-7 days in the hospital and be highly painful and has a significant failure rate.
There are many ways in which the malignant pleural effusions can be diagnosed. These include:
Read more on Malignant Pleural Effusions Causes and Risks.