active secondaries on pleural membrane

Hsllo to all,
Having had nearly 5 years post-treatment completely clear, I found out a month ago that seondary (oestrogen-neg) breast cancer cells are present on the pleural membrane in the chest cavity. My lungs themselves are currently clear.

My treatment so far has been to have a very painful thoracic operation called a pleurodesis (2 litres of fluid were drained and the chest wall abraded and the membrane stuck to the wall with the help of surgical talc) and now I am on Capecitabine (high dose) tablets for the foreseeable future.

I am 3 weeks post-op today and am really struggling to get over the op and still in a lot of pain. I have had no affects from the tablet chemo one week in, but maybe early days.

Has anyone else had something similar - how were they post-op and how long were they on Capecitabine? Many thanks.

Lin-I had exactly the same procedure-back in Nov 2007, when the mets were found. To date I have needed no further draining, nor surgical intervention, which is fantastic-so I hope it holds for you too! I recovered incredibly quickly-in fact, once the fluid had been drained, I felt so much better that It was hard to believe I was so seriously ill. I’m sorry you’re struggling still-what seems to be the problem?

I’ve been on chemo ever since-some more succesful than others. At present I’m on carboplatin and herceptin, which is keeping me relativley stable.I do still get pain in the affected side-but it’s bearable, and at it’s worst responds well to codeine. I find that the colder, damper weather also aggravates it, so tend to be careful over the winter months-eg, muffling myself up well with a scarf, for example!

Good luck with the treatment-and hope you feel better soon. Do feel free to pm me if you want to chat further.

Hi Lin,

I read your post with interest as I to have sec in the pleural lining.

I was seeing a lung specialist and he advised that they may have to do a pleurodesis, but because it was found to be the breast cancer cells (didn’t know what it was at the time) I was refered back to the breast onc team.

I had 2.5 litres drained and my onc decided the pleurodesis was to painful as since I didn’t have chemo when I was first dx as I was stage 1 with no spread had WLE and 15 rads. I had 3 fec & 3 tax and was advise that was another option maybe later on.

Its seem to depend very much on what consultant you have to what treatment you receive.

Elaine’s post was very positive and I to take co-codamol & pregamblin for the pain.

The chemo has stabilised the cancer and I’m working 3 days a week part time at the moment.

I’m seeing my Oncologist next week and will probably have to have a scan as its been 6 months since my last one.

It there anything else you can suggest I ask while I’m there?



I had exactly the same op and the same diagnosis. Just had a Pet scan and the cancer has increased by 20% so capacitbine (cant spell it) did not work, they are now suggesting intravenous taxol and avastin.

The capcitabine gave me hand and foot syndrome and very itchy skin, unpleasant but not unbearable. Had intravenous chemo before (twice) and dreading it, is it worth it for no extended life span??

Hi ladies,
I have been reading your posts w interest and compassion; I was diagnosed with extensive bone mets in March and my liver, thorax and lung scans came back clear. However I am concerned about about a “gurgling” and “flapping” sound at the back of my throat when I lie down and I was wondering if any of you can describe the initial symptoms of mets in the pleural membrane please? I have been told it is trapped wind? I also become more hoarse and loose my voice as the day goes on. I am grateful if you can throw some light on this.
Good luck to you all. Many thanks. Beatrice.