FAQ - Pleural Neoplasms
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What is the connection between malignant neoplasms and crabs?

The more common term for malignant neoplasms, cancer, is Latin for crab, and the word "carcinogen," meaning a cancer-causing agent, comes from the Greek word for crab, "karkinos." What is the connection between these two seemingly unrelated things?

Cancer, both the disease and the astronomical constellation, derive from the Latin cancer or cancrum, meaning crab. The astrological sign, of course, is said to resemble a crab and the disease was so named by the ancient Greek physician Galen (129-200 A.D.) who noted the similarity between a certain type of tumor with a crab as well—the swollen veins around the tumor resembling the legs of a crab.

Old English adopted cancer directly from Latin and used it for a variety of spreading sores and ulcers. This early sense survives in the modern word canker. From c.1000 in a manuscript called Læce Boc (Leech Book), collected in Oswald Cockayne’s Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, Vol. II, 1865:

Gemeng wið þam dustum, clæm on ðone cancer.
(Mix with the dust, smear on the cancer.)

And from Wyclif’s 2 Timothy, 1382:

The word of hem crepith as a kankir

The word was being applied specifically to the disease we today call cancer by the beginning of the 17th century. From Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Historie of the World:

Cancer is a swelling or sore comming of melancholy bloud, about which the veins appeare of a blacke or swert colour, spread in manner of a Creifish clees.

The astronomical sense of cancer is from the Latin name for the constellation of the crab. The name was known to the Anglo-Saxons, but only as a Latin name and was not assimilated into English until the Middle English period. It appears in Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni, written c.993, in a list of the constellations of the Zodiac:

Feorða • Cancer • þæt is Crabba
(Fourth, Cancer, that is the crab.)

The Anglicized name appears c.1391 in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe:

In this heved of cancer is the grettist declinacioun northward of the sonne...this signe of cancre is clepid the tropik of Somer.
(At this first point (head) of cancer is the greatest declination northward of the sun…this sign of cancer is named the tropic of summer.)

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition)  (+ info)

Does anyone know about cirrohssis particularly accumulating ascites/pleural effusion after 5 yrs of TIPS work?

My father had the TIPS procedure done 5 years ago because he had ascites accumulation and it went away after TIPS but now ascites is back plus pleural effusion. My dad has cirrohssis of the liver and according to the doctor his TIPS is working well so why does he have ascites and pleural effusion then?

  (+ info)

Which is the best hospital in the world to treat pleural effusion?

Hi, my girl is suffering from pleural effusion and this happened at a time when we were planning to tie the knot. I am extremely worried, is completely curable? Which is the best hospital in the world to treat this disease? Please reply.

depends on the CAUSE of the effusion  (+ info)

When a person has a pleural effusion, what is that? And what is happening to the person on a cellular level?

I know that pleural effusion refers to an abnormal collection of fluids in the pleural cavity, but how does that affect respiration? What exactly is going on?

Background: Pleural effusion is defined as an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pleural space. Excess fluid results from the disruption of the equilibrium that exists across pleural membranes.
In terms of anatomy, the pleural space is bordered by parietal and visceral pleura. Parietal pleurae cover the inner surface of the thoracic cavity, including the mediastinum, diaphragm, and ribs. Visceral pleurae envelop all surfaces of the lungs, including the interlobar fissures. This lining is absent at the hilus, where pulmonary vessels, bronchi, and nerves enter the lung tissue. The mediastinum completely separates the right and left pleural spaces.

Both parietal and visceral membranes are smooth, glistening, and semitransparent. Despite these similarities, the two membranes have unique differences in anatomic architecture, innervation, pain fibers, blood supply, lymphatic drainage, and function. For example, the visceral pleurae contain no pain fibers and have a dual blood supply (bronchial and pulmonary).

Pathophysiology: Pleural effusion is an indicator of a pathologic process that may be of primary pulmonary origin or of an origin related to another organ system or to systemic disease. It may occur in the setting of acute or chronic disease and is not a diagnosis in itself.

Normal pleural fluid has the following characteristics: clear ultrafiltrate of plasma, pH 7.60-7.64, protein content less than 2% (1-2 g/dL), fewer than 1000 WBCs per cubic millimeter, glucose content similar to that of plasma, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level less than 50% of plasma and sodium, and potassium and calcium concentration similar to that of the interstitial fluid.

The principal function of pleural fluid is to provide a frictionless surface between the two pleurae in response to changes in lung volume with respiration. The following mechanisms play a role in the formation of pleural effusion:

Altered permeability of the pleural membranes (eg, inflammatory process, neoplastic disease, pulmonary embolus)

Reduction in intravascular oncotic pressure (eg, hypoalbuminemia, hepatic cirrhosis)

Increased capillary permeability or vascular disruption (eg, trauma, neoplastic disease, inflammatory process, infection, pulmonary infarction, drug hypersensitivity, uremia, pancreatitis)

Increased capillary hydrostatic pressure in the systemic and/or pulmonary circulation (eg, congestive heart failure, superior vena caval syndrome)

Reduction of pressure in pleural space; lung unable to expand (eg, extensive atelectasis, mesothelioma)

Inability of the lung to expand (eg, extensive atelectasis, mesothelioma)

Decreased lymphatic drainage or complete blockage, including thoracic duct obstruction or rupture (eg, malignancy, trauma)

Increased fluid in peritoneal cavity, with migration across the diaphragm via the lymphatics (eg, hepatic cirrhosis, peritoneal dialysis)

Movement of fluid from pulmonary edema across the visceral pleura

Persistent increase in pleural fluid oncotic pressure from an existing pleural effusion, causing accumulation of further fluid

Iatrogenic causes (eg, central line misplacement)  (+ info)

Is it dangerous to give water to pet/doggy when she/he had a pleural effusion or a heart condition?

Is it dangerous to give water to pet when she/he had a pleural effusion or a heart condition or something that has to do with rapid heart beat and rapid breathing with accompanied fluid build up that can be seen like a fat hanging in the ribs or chest part of the doggy?

Ask the vet who diagnosed this condition. You should be following up with the vet for this anyway; it does affect the pumping of the heart and circulation.
If it's a temporary condition (as in, after accident with broken ribs) - hang in there.
If chronic illness, the important thing is to make your dog comfortable esp if pet is seriously ill. I have been thru this decision a few times and still it's hard to decide whether the dog is still happy and comfortable enough to continue...  (+ info)

What is the basis of differing actions of antineoplastic agents on different tissue/neoplasms?

What is the basis for differing tissue- and neoplasm-specificites of antieoplastic chemotherapeutic agents? This doubt arose because considering what the pharmacokinetics of these drugs are it remains to be answered as to why a certain agent would act only in a particular tissue or neoplasm when the mechanisms they employ are so similar, e.g., various alkylating agents in spite having same action act of different tumors with differing degrees of effectiveness. Hope someone answers the question specifically. Useful links to free-text articles would also be highly appreciated. Bye. TC.

If you have thoughts on this subject, you ought to have the initiative to research it yourself.  (+ info)

Does anyone know of any clinical trials for pleural mesothelioma?

Perferably in the Houston area, but i am open to any place. Please help.

The NIH (Nat'l Institute of Health) is doing quite a bit on this right now. The link is: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=pleural+mesothelioma

Here's some additional info on a couple in TX:

Austin : Merck

A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA) in Patients With Advanced Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Previously Treated With Systemic Chemotherapy

Houston : S. R. Burzynski Clinic

Phase II Study Of Antineoplastons A10 And AS2-1 In Patients With Mesothelioma

Here's more info for the one in Houston http://www.centerwatch.com/clinical-trials/listings/studydetails.aspx?StudyID=10085

Finally, I put a link below that gives even more info, including a hyperlink to places that list these trials, many of which are non-governmental.

There's a lot to go through because so much is being done. I assume you know this, but as a general rule, you'd want to avoid phase I trials (which are often crap shoots) and even II if possible. Also, most cancers have online support groups. Some are insanely chattty, but others have very knowledgeable people in them. You might learn some useful info there, as well. Good luck to you !  (+ info)

Could a 250 mL non-specific serous pleural effussion lead to respiratory failure in a 85 yr old pt?

Taking into consideration that the pt just had a lap chole? Pt wasn't excesively sedated.

Pleural effussions (pleurisy for the older folks) can be serious. When even a small area of the lung is collapsed it can lead to pneumonia. This is even a greater risk since the pt is post op. The main thing you can do is encourage the pt to take slow deep breaths expanding the area around the effusion. This keeps any secretions mobile. They were probably given a incentive spirometer for this purpose. I also like the flutter devices for this.  (+ info)

After fluid from Pleural Effusion is removed, will leftover fluid go away on its own?

I recently had a laparoscopic surgery in which my appendix was removed. My doctors said that the Pleural Effusion was a complication from surgery and they used a needle to remove fluid from my right lung. I was looking at the before and after x-rays and it looks like there's still some fluid left over.

Yes, it will go away as long as the condition that caused it in the first place is dealt with.
Whenever they "tap" a pleural effusion they have to leave some behind otherwise they risk puncturing the lung.
God bless and a speedy recovery.  (+ info)

What would happen if there was a tear in the pleural membrane?

thats the stuff atround the lungs, what would happen if it got a hole or tear in it

Starting from the Anatomy, there are two types of pleural membrane; Parietal pleura which lines the thoracic cavity and the Visceral pleura which envelops the surface of the lungs. These two layers are separated by a potential space called pleural cavity which basically maintains a negative pressure within the space during each respiratory cycle.

When there is a disruption or tear in the pleural membrane, it affects the the overall respiratory cycle as the negative pressure no longer exist within the cavity causing the air to leak into the pleural space. This condition is called pneumothorax.
If the tear is only on the visceral pleura, it creates a "one-way valve" hence, causing the air to gush into the space during each inspiration but, not allowing to escape on expiration. This situation is life threatening which usually ends up in tension pneumothorax.
Many times, injury occurs to both layers especially after trauma during which time respiratory deterioration,and cardiovascular collapse occurs quickly due to life threatening pneumothorax. Death is imminent if those emergency are not identified and treated within the time scale.
Hope, this helps  (+ info)

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