One of the serious problems that can occur when the body appears malignant neoplasms is fluid in the lungs. In oncology, this aggravates the human condition and may even cause him to die. Why does fluid form, what measures are used for treatment and will it give a positive result?
Dangerous symptom of cancer: water in the lungs and pleura
If a person has been diagnosed with cancer of the lung, reproductive organs, breast, intestine, pancreas, stomach, then such a problem as the formation of a liquid substance in the lung cavity or pleura may be in wait. This happens in both the early and late stages of the disease.
Water in the lungs appears already when the body is completely depleted and does not have reserves to resist the disease. It is an intractable and extremely dangerous condition that causes pulmonary edema. In addition, it is accompanied by the development of cardiovascular insufficiency and organ failure. This is most likely fatal.
Fluid in the pleural cavity is a less dangerous phenomenon. Today, there are quite effective ways that help clean the water and stabilize the patient's condition. Characteristic symptoms help to detect the fluid (weakness, dry cough at the onset of the illness, then respiratory failure develops, a gurgling sound is heard when breathing, there is heaviness from the side where the exudate has accumulated), radiography, ultrasound and chest percussion. In addition, computed tomography and diagnostic puncture of the pleural cavity.
Why are the lungs and pleura filled with fluid?
Malignant pleurisy develops for such reasons:
- complication after radiotherapy or surgery to remove the affected organ;
- the growth of cancer in the lymph nodes located in the neighborhood (or their metastasis), as a result of which the lymph outflow is disturbed and the exudate accumulates;
- a sharp drop in the total protein content (which is typical for the later stages of the disease) and a reduced level of oncotic pressure of the blood;
- high permeability of pleural tissues;
- full or partial overlap of the lumen of the largest bronchus. This provokes a drop in pressure in the pleural cavity, which is why water collects in it.
As for such a pathology as fluid in the lungs, the causes and treatment in this case are more complex issues. The development of pulmonary edema is caused by the fact that the organs cease to perform their functions as a result of the existence of an oncological tumor. The body gradually loses its ability to resist such an influence of a malignant neoplasm. Treatment rarely guarantees positive results.
What methods are used to treat pulmonary edema and malignant pleurisy?
Treatment should always begin with the establishment of the main cause, which led to the appearance of fluid in the wrong places. That is, you should detect the tumor and take steps to remove it.
If the patient’s condition is too severe, then pump out fluid from the lungs. The consequences of such interventions depend on the degree of edema. They can provide temporary relief, but the prognosis (given that moisture is collected in the lungs already in the final stages of cancer) is often more unfavorable.
Surgery for pulmonary edema is usually not resorted to. Used drug therapy. In particular, these drugs can be prescribed:
- cardiac glycosides (Strofantin, Korglikon). They improve myocardial function;
- drugs that promote the expansion of the smooth muscles of the bronchi (Eufillin);
- diuretics. They remove water from the body with urine (Furosemidem, Mannid).
To remove exudate from the pleural cavity, on the contrary, more often use instrumental methods, rather than the action of drugs. To alleviate the patient's condition and eliminate moisture that may threaten his life, carry out such therapeutic measures:
- pleurocentosis. This is a surgical operation, the essence of which is the mechanical removal of water under local anesthesia. A thin injection needle is inserted into the space between the 7th and 8th ribs. With its help pierce the pleural cavity. Then take another needle, it is connected to the electric pump. Such manipulations have a positive effect on the well-being of the patient, but do not protect against refilling the pleura with liquid exudate. Patients do not tolerate the subsequent holding of pleurocentesis. In addition, such a procedure can lead to the formation of adhesions, which will aggravate the course of cancer;
- pleurodesis. This is also a type of surgery. During the procedure, special agents (Cisplatin, Embihin, immunomodulators, antimicrobials and radioisotopes) are injected into the pleural cavity, which prevent the secondary appearance of pathological effusion. Such drugs produce a local anti-cancer effect.
After the etiology of pleurisy is determined, oncologists choose a therapeutic treatment strategy. Cancers that are sensitive to chemotherapy are subject to cytotoxic drugs. Medical statistics shows that in 60% of cases, this approach to treatment ends with the complete elimination of exudative pleurisy.
If symptoms appear that indicate fluid in the lungs during oncology, then first of all they resort to pumping it out. This is a primary measure, which not only relieves shortness of breath and helps to improve the overall well-being of a person. Such activities give the patient a chance to live a few more years.