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Mesothelioma Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion is the abnormal build up of fluid in the chest cavity. It is a symptom of a more significant problem and is very common in mesothelioma patients.

When left untreated, fluids accumulate and may make breathing very difficult as the fluid may prevent the lungs from fully expanding.

For some patients, pleural effusions do not cause any symptoms. Others may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths
  • Difficulty breathing lying down
  • Dry cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Hiccups
  • If you have symptoms such as these, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Pleura fluid build up could become infected or cause a collapsed lung.

    There are many causes of pleural effusions, but they are very common in those with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

    In order to diagnose a pleural effusion, doctors will perform a physical examination and typically order a chest X-ray or CT scan. If a pleural effusion is discovered, a procedure will be done to drain the fluid. A laboratory will analyze the fluid to determine if the effusion is malignant (cancerous).

    It is extremely important to seek medical attention for symptoms of pleural effusion. Aggressive treatment options are very limited for those diagnosed at a late stage.

    If you've been exposed to asbestos and have any symptoms of pleural effusion or any asbestos-related diseases, seek treatment and inform your medical provider of your asbestos exposure history right away.

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