8 doctors weighed in:
Is a pleural effusion serious? Is it usually a sign of cancer?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
5 doctors agree
In brief: Sometimes
Pleural effusions can occur for a variety of reasons.
Cancer is a cause of pleural effusion. How serious it is generally depends upon the underlying cause and the amount of fluid. Temporary relief can be achieved with drainage of the effusion (called thoracentesis).

In brief: Sometimes
Pleural effusions can occur for a variety of reasons.
Cancer is a cause of pleural effusion. How serious it is generally depends upon the underlying cause and the amount of fluid. Temporary relief can be achieved with drainage of the effusion (called thoracentesis).
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
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Dr. Dennis Clifford
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Several causes
Pleural effusions can be caused by infections, congestive heart failure and sometimes cancer.
Asbestos exposure and autoimmune diseases are other causes. Sampling the fluid and having it analyzed is recommended.

In brief: Several causes
Pleural effusions can be caused by infections, congestive heart failure and sometimes cancer.
Asbestos exposure and autoimmune diseases are other causes. Sampling the fluid and having it analyzed is recommended.
Dr. Dennis Clifford
Dr. Dennis Clifford
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Dr. Carlo Hatem
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
In brief: Not normal
The cause of a pleural effusion should always be investigated and treated.
Most effusions are not caused by cancer.

In brief: Not normal
The cause of a pleural effusion should always be investigated and treated.
Most effusions are not caused by cancer.
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Dr. Carlo Hatem
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Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology
In brief: Not necessarily
Cancer of the pleura, mesothelioma is uncommon.
Metastatic cancers to the lung can cause pleural effusion. It my also be due to heart failure, lung inflammation and lymphatic obstruction. Pleural effusion without an obvious cause is considered to be due to tb, unless proven otherwise.

In brief: Not necessarily
Cancer of the pleura, mesothelioma is uncommon.
Metastatic cancers to the lung can cause pleural effusion. It my also be due to heart failure, lung inflammation and lymphatic obstruction. Pleural effusion without an obvious cause is considered to be due to tb, unless proven otherwise.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
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