What is the prognosis of malignant pleural effusion?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Development of a malignant pleural effusion is associated with a very poor prognosis, with median survival of 4 months and mean survival of less than 1 year. [14, 15] The most common associated malignancy in men is lung cancer. The most common associated malignancy in women is breast cancer. Median survival ranges from 3-12 months, depending on the malignancy. Effusions from cancers that are more responsive to chemotherapy, such as lymphoma or breast cancer, are more likely to be associated with prolonged survival, compared with those from lung cancer or mesothelioma. [16, 17]


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