Our Treatment Approach to Pleural Disease

At Fox Chase Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary medical team works closely to accurately diagnose your pleural disease and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

If infection is identified in the pleural space, this usually responds to antibiotics and fluid drainage. Cancer-related effusions may respond to treatment with chemotherapy for the underlying tumor but sometimes require repeated drainage.

Patients with a recurring pleural effusion can be treated with an indwelling pleural catheter, usually placed in the outpatient setting, which can be drained by a patient’s family at home. This allows for maximal patient independence and mobility during cancer treatment. These catheters can also contribute to the healing of effusions by causing the pleural space to scar and close. This does not impair lung function but may allow the catheter to be removed over time.

Fox Chase palliative care specialists provide a variety of pain management tools for patients with lung conditions including pleural disease. Palliative care is designed to offer relief to patients with cancer through symptom management, as well as pain management. When a cure is not possible, our specialists provide comfort, as well as the highest quality of life possible.

Pulmonologists at Fox Chase specialize in treating lung conditions including pleural disease and pleural effusion. For more information about lung cancer prevention, screening and treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, see our Lung Cancer Program.