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Pleurisy from Lymphoma?

bobmcghee's picture
bobmcghee
Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2010

In February I was diagnosed with pleurisy. The doctor tried antibiotics but it didn't work. He finally tried prednisone and that stopped the pain. After a few weeks I stopped taking one day and the pain came back. I had my normal check-up ct-scan on Febuary 6th that said I was stable. Then another ct-scan on February 23 to check for pleurisy. My internist talked to my onc last week and they sent me for a pet-scan on April 27. The scan showed two hot spots in my chest cavity that the onc wants to biopsy. I'm waiting to get the date for the biopsies now.

I was wondering if anyone has gotten pleurisy from lymphoma.

Radiation and 7 rounds of r-chop in 2010 for B cell NHL.
To date I've had 5 ritaxin maintenance sessions but the onc cancelled the one from last week to see what the biopsies come up with.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3149
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Bob,
Glad to hear from you again..it's been awhile since you've posted and I've wondered how things were going with you. This is just a thought, but have you discussed with your doctor the possibility that the 2 hot spots may be mets from the NHL you had in 2010? I've been told that my FNHL will eventually come back..metastisis(sp)?,(mets) to another part of my body. My doctor told me that cancer has a way of figuring out how to "out smart" treatments, thus mutating and then attacking in another part of the body. It made more sense the way he explained it, but essentially, he said once the cancer is established, there will always be the possibility for recurrance. Right now Rituxan is showing to be excellent for keeping lymphoma stable, but eventually the R will be stopped and thats when the cancer figures out where it can re-locate. I hope you will be able to continue with the Rituxan, because it really does a number on the B-cells. Please let us know what you find out. I'll keep you in my prayers. Best wishes...Sue
(Follicular NHL-stage3-grade2-typeA-diagnosed June 2010-now considered stable-age 61)

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Bob,

I had pleurisy many many years ago but wasn't dealing with cancer at that time
so it wasn't related to my lymphoma. I was pretty young at the time (well early thirties which seems so young now ;)). We don't know what caused it but they suspected some
sort of viral infection.

I feel for you because the memory of it is very strong in my mind. I'd have to say the pain was right up there with the bone marrow biopsy but persistent and awful. It was extremely painful to breathe - it felt like a sword was being shoved in between my ribs and scraping them. I was given prednisone and it cleared up pretty quickly and I have not had it since.

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the linings around the lungs (the pleura)
and can be caused by many things including trauma, certain medications,
cancer, infections, inhalation of chemicals, etc. Below is a link with
some information.

Pleurisy Info

I'm sorry you had to go through that pain/experience. I'm keeping you in my
thoughts and hope the inflammation has nothing to do with cancer and that your
upcoming biopsies come out well. Please keep us updated and know we're here
for you.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

bobmcghee's picture
bobmcghee
Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2010

Finally got the biopsies scheduled for Thursday morning, then I see the onc on Monday to see the results.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks Bob and try not to worry too much (not easy).
Please keep us updated. Sending warm and postive
thoughts your way.

JIm

bobmcghee's picture
bobmcghee
Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2010

Nothing has been resolved. I went for the biopsies on May 10. The guy told me he was only going to do one biopsy because the other one was too risky because of veins or arteries near it or maybe he wasn't .....I will stop because I have nothing good to say about this guy. It started with a ct-scan then he came and told me that the pleural thickening had gone down and he would not need to do the biopsy. I tried arguing with him but got nowhere. So today I went to follow up with the onc. Long story short I am stopping the prednisone to see if the pain gets bad or goes away in the next three weeks. If the pain is still there the onc will order another ct-scan to see if the pleural thickening comes back and attempt a biopsy at that point.
The pleurisy pain started the middle of February and it is really getting old.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3149
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Bob,
I'm sorry you didn't get things resolved, and now have to go another 3 weeks. I hope the pain goes away and you get some rest. The prednisone made it impossible for me to be calm or get any rest. Let us know how it goes for you. Keeping you in my prayers. Sue
(FNHL-2-3a-6/10)

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hey Bob,

I can only reiterate what Sue said :). Please keep us posted
or just come by to vent or talk.

Jim

bobmcghee's picture
bobmcghee
Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2010

I stopped the prednisone on 05-14-12 and by Sunday 05-20-12 I started with some chest pain and shortness of breath. Call the onc and he go me a ct-scan on 05-22-12. It showed a bilateral pleural effusion with fluid extending to the major fissure on the right side. This was good enough for the radiology people to agree do another biopsy on 05-29-12. So if this doesn't disappear by that day I will finally have a possible cause of what is keeping this pleurisy going for this long.

After next week I will have had 5 ct-scans and 1 pet-scan since 02-06-12. I wonder if that can be harmful too. If nothing else shouldn't I be getting a free one at some point. :)

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the update. Hopefully they will get to the bottom
of this soon. Yeah, I think you should get a free scan too - LOL.

Hang in there!

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 998
Joined: May 2012

Never heard of per se lymphoma causing pleurisy. The only mechanism that I can think of would be if grossly enlarged nodes were pressing against the cavity, but that would be readily detectable on a CT. I was diagnosed with Stage III HL from a heart scan with imaging. The docs thought that I had unstable angina, but it was nodes pressing on the wall of the heart, so the mere pressing effect does cause other, seemingly unrelated symptoms to lymphoma. I had never had any HL symptoms, and never felt an enlarged node anywhere prior to diagnosis. Without the heart test, I would be dead today.

I would demand a biopsy of any suspicious mass.

Regarding CT radiation: It is like the blurb on medications: The test is more valuable than not knowing. As a submarine sailor, I studied a lot of radcon (radiological controls), and if the doc thinks you need the test, you most likely do. Discuss your radiological exposure concerns with him or her, however.

max

bobmcghee's picture
bobmcghee
Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2010

Today I finally got to discuss the biopsy results with the doctor and no lymphoma was found which made me happy. The biopsy did not identify any other cause of the problem in my chest area. The only good thing is after four months the pains seems to be going away by itself. The doctor has no idea what occurred to cause this. The onc wants to wait a month and then decide if I can continue with the last three Rituxan maintenance treatments.
Thanks to all you folks for your comments and I wish I had something conclusive to say about this situation but as of now it remains a mystery.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3149
Joined: Jul 2010

Well Bob, we will just have to wait with you and hope everything steadily gets better. Glad to hear the pain is going away on it's own. Let us know when and if you get to start your remaining 3 Rituxan treatments. I just had one today...4 more to go and then I'll be done with my 2 year maint plan..."Yeah me"! Take care and thanks for getting back to us.
Best wishes...Sue (FNHL-2-3a-6/10)

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