Pleural Tumor

Chest lining is called the pleura and covers the inner surface of the ribs, diaphragm and chest organs; this includes the lung and middle of the chest (mediastinum) and all the organs contained therein (esophagus, thymus, heart, blood vessels). Pleural tumors are very uncommon. The most common is mesothelioma, followed by solitary fibrous tumor of the pleura (SFTP).  

Small SFTP may be detected during a CT scan for another symptom; large SFTP may cause shortness of breath or pain. All SFTP can grow and are considered nonaggressive cancers. Large SFTP may behave as aggressive cancers. As such, SFTP or the possibility of it, leads to the recommendation of surgical removal. Surgery is often simultaneously diagnostic and therapeutic, during which diagnosis and treatment occur at the same sitting.  

Surgery can be performed with thoracoscopy or video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) when the tumor is small. If the tumor is large, it requires a chest side incision and rib spreading (thoracotomy). It is important to entirely remove a SFTP in hopes of achieving the best outcome.