What does it mean to have a small pleural effusion? Cancer?

May be due to spread. Plural cavity ( the space around lungs) normally will have very small amount fluid for lubrication around the lungs and chest wall. When detectable amount accumulates could be due to cancer cells deposits or could be due to heart&lung diseases( non cancers).

Related Questions

Pleural effusion in a pt with lung cancer. Do you drain it?

Absolutely. Two reasons to drain it are for diagnosis, are there cancer cells in the effusion, this is bad. Bumps you up to stage 4. Two, therapeutically it will be easier to breathe if the effusion is removed. Read more...
Yes . The fluid should be drained to alleviate shortness of breath. A pleurodesis can be performed to prevent the fluid from coming back. This can be done using minimally invasive surgery or thoracoscopy. Read more...
Only if symptomatic. High likelihood for recurrence so only if severe short of breath. Read more...

Is massive pleural effusion in one lung high risk for mastectomy for breast cancer?

Determine cause. The cause of pleural effusion has to be determined whether it is reactive, may have been due to heart or treatment received, or spread of disease wherein a different treatment modality may be considered, or infectious wherein immunomodulating treatments and surgeries may have to be delayed. Read more...