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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pleuradesis

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Lung Cancer - Pleuradesis [posted 1/13/99]
Question: My grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer and the doctors want to perform a procedure called pleuradesis. I'm looking for any information you might have on this. The reason for this procedure is a building up of fluid in her lung. I need it ASAP because the doctors want a decision. I want to know how effective this is and if this would prohibit her from having any other type of cancer treatment, like chemotherapy or radiation.

Answer: Pleuradesis is a procedure where the pleura (the lining of the lung) is inflamed to cause scar tissue between the pleura and the chest wall. This is to minimize or prevent fluid collection between the chest wall and the pleura. Preventing the fluid will help the lung keep expanded and decrease the shortness of breath found in this problem. This is a palliative procedure and will not cure the problem. There is no reason that chemotherapy or radiation cannot proceed with the pleuradesis. However, the pleuradesis is very painful and we usually don't add on other things at the same time.

Pleuradesis [posted 8/11/98]
Question: My wife is pregnant and needs Pleuradesis. Tetracycline is out and talc needs to be used. However, talc contains small amounts of serpentine (asbestos). You can get pure talc, but I am told it is rare. Where would I be able to purchase 100% pure talc?

Answer: Can't say I know, but I doubt it would ever be a big problem considering the possible reasons she is getting pleuradesis.

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