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Has anyone had talc pleurodesis?  I would like to hear of your experience.

Why you opted for this procedure? Was it painful?  Was it successful?


My third round with Lung Cancer includes pleural malignancy.  I have a pleural drain and undergo daily drainage.  It's been  3 months and it's not drying up and the lining is not readhering to my lung.  It has been suggesting that the talc pleurodesis might resolve this issue.

I am currently under treatment using a new targeted treatment drug and we are experiencing wonderful results with the reduction of the tumor. However, the pleural fluid continues to build. I've had a Denver drain for over 3 months.


I would appreciate hearing about first hand experience.





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Hi Margot, I haven't had the talc pleurodesis but have heard some good things about the outcomes. What treatments have you had. I had 35 radiation treatments which I completed in May 2009 and have had pleural effusion for the last year but it's getting smaller. What is the new targeted treatment you are doing? Some of those really sound promising...
Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...
David -
Here's the treatments I have had so far.
In 2007, I had 32 days of radiation simultaneously with Chemo (cisplatin and etoposide)) My chemo was delivered for 6 consecutive days, two weeks off and another 6 consecutive days.
For round 2, December 2008 it was easier. I had for infusions of Alimta about 3-4 weeks apart.
I developed Radiation Pneumonitis early on, was treated with Prednisone and as a result I got AVN and my hip collapsed. I had a total hip replacement summer 2009
Cancer returned in Feb. 2010 and based on molecular profiling, I was told in advance that I was a perfect match for a drug addressing the ALK mutation, where less then 3% of cancer patients qualify. It's pills which I take 250mg morning and night. However, in the screening process of this exploratory drug, we discovered that I had a mass on my brain so I had Gama Knife Surgery in late March. I began this exploratory drug on April 13th.

Ironically, this current treatment has caused me more problems than the other 2 treatments. I have has just about every side effect on the list. I don't know yet how long I will be on this. It's almost 2 months so far. The good news is that on 5/26 the scan showed that the tumor was reduced by 80% and the nodules disappeared.
I am hoping that I can simultaneously have the talc pleurodesis because it should eliminiate the need for this daily drainage which is a bit life limiting. I am amazed that you have had a pleural drain for one year. That's a long time. How are you coping?

Hi again Margot, It's good that you are positive for the ALK mutation. There are trials for the mutation that are really promising. I'm so sorry about your brain mass. You've been through the ringer, hang in there.
I didn't have the plural drain. My effusion is going away on it's own. It's a normal side affect from radiation.
Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...
when my lungcollapsed in 2004 I was hospitalized and they inserted a chest tube. on day 6 they poured talc into the chest tube (it hurt badly but didn't last long). I went home the next day. I did not get fluid buildup until 2008 and now need drainage about every 3 to 4 months. hope this helps
Thank you for your response. Drainage every 3-4 months beats daily.
They indicated that there is pain associated with the talc pleurodesis but also said they would manage the pain with meds.
the pain I had when they put the talc in was very bad but thank God only lasted a few minutes. I would demand they give me something well ahead of time to dull the few minutes of bad pain. I think I build up fluid due to COPD besides having had lung ca. good luck
Hi Margot - I had the Talc procedure done a couple weeks after I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I too had major fluid build up on my left lung and after having it drained once I knew I did not want to have to face doing this forever if possible. So my surgeon, pulmonologist and I decided to go ahead with the procedure and hopefully it would hold. It has now been over 3 years and I have not had any problems or fluid build up since I had the surgery done. The surgery itself is not hard, but you will have pain that is, well to me, was easy to deal handle with pain medication. The pain does not last long and everyday after the surgery it would get a little better. I am so glad I did the procedure, I can't imagine what you have been through with draining it all the time as you have been doing.
Good luck if you decide to go ahead with the procedure. I know not everyone has luck with it but I am lucky enough to have success with the procedure.
Take care,
THANK YOU, This is so helpful and timely. I'm scheduled for the procedure tomorrow, along with a couple more things while they have me out. They are going to attempt to dilate my airways and do a dicodication(?) Your experience sheds a lot of light on what I might expect. I am grateful to get this information
Many thanks.
Margot, good luck and let us know how you make out. we'll be praying all goes well.
Margo, I hope all has turned out good from your surgery and you are back on the road to recovery minus the fluid! Keep us updated!


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