NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - page 29

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Version 1.2012
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Part 6: Supportive care
For most patients with cancer, their main concern is that their treatment works.
However, having cancer is complex and brings many physical and emotional
challenges. It is important to know about these challenges and get the support
you need. Supportive care is the treatment of symptoms of a disease. Part 6
lists some of the challenges you may face as well as ways to manage them.
Conditions for supportive care
Pleural effusion,
Chest pain,
Smoking cessation, and
Distress
Pleural effusion
Pleural effusion is the buildup of extra fluid in the pleural cavity. This can result
in shortness of breath and make it hard to breathe. A pleural catheter can
be used to drain the fluid buildup. Another treatment is talc pleurodesis. Talc
pleurodesis involves putting talc powder into the pleural cavity. The powder
irritates the tissue and causes the pleura layers to grow together while healing.
This seals the pleural cavity and stops fluid buildup. It is important that a
PET/CT scan is done before talc pleurodesis because talc causes pleural
inflammation, which can look like cancer on the scan.
Chest pain
Chest pain may be caused by cancer growing into the chest wall. Radiation
therapy may be used to ease chest pain. However, there are other ways to
manage chest pain such as with pain medications or chemotherapy.
For more information about chest pain and management, talk to your
treatment team.
Definitions:
Catheter:
A thin, flexible
tube used to give or drain
fluids from the body
Chest wall:
The layer of
muscles and bones under
the skin that covers the
chest area
Inflammation:
Redness,
heat, pain, and swelling
from injury or infection
Pleura:
The tissue lining
around the lungs
Pleural cavity:
The space
between the two pleura
layers
PET/CT
= Positron
emission tomography/
computed tomography
Acronyms
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