Cancer of the pleura is a malignant tumor of the pleura. It is one of the so-called "mesothelioma" tumors, that is tumors that develop from the membranous tissues lining the organs. The pleura consists of 2 layers that surround each of the 2 lungs.
Pleural cancer can be primitive, usually due to prolonged exposure to asbestos, in a professional setting. It can also be secondary to another cancer: metastasis of bronchopulmonary cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, among others.
In the majority of cases, the diagnosis of pleural cancer is made only late, because the clinical manifestations are not very specific (chest pain, pleural effusion, deterioration of the general state), and occur only at a stage advanced. Platinum-salt chemotherapy is the current standard treatment.
Cancer of the pleura is an occupational disease among people who have worked on asbestos (quarrying, building, automotive industry, etc.). For many years, this type of disease has been regularly monitored. If a cancer of the pleura appears in a person, a professional survey is carried out.
Today, it is forbidden to use asbestos.
Authors: Dr. MC Bonduelle, Dr. Nicolas Evrard and Dr. Ada Picard.