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Lung Cancer

Pleural metastatic disease

02/13/2008

Question:

My mother in law was recently diagnosed with lung ca and is awaiting a visit to the pulmonologist. One of the CT/Chest findins is "Left Pleural Metastatic disease with moderate left loculated pleural effusion" Can you please explain this? The report also states "almost certainly primary bronchogenic CA.

Thank you very much.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. An important aspect of evaluation for suspected lung cancer is to determine if it is isolated or has spread. This has implications for treatment and prognosis. Extent of disease is usually determined by imaging modalities such as CT scans and PET scans often followed by confirmation with a biopsy. It is difficult to comment on this without seeing the actual imaging studies. However, lung cancer can spread to the lining (pleura) of the lung resulting in either lesions or the accumulation of fluid (effusion). These findings will likely need to be confirmed with a biopsy.

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Response by:

Patrick  Nana-Sinkam, MD Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University