Lung sack cancer is an uncommon disease that is usually due to the fact that you have been breathing in asbestos. It can take over 30 years for lung sac cancer to develop. It is difficult to get rid of the disease. But there are treatments that make you feel better even though cancer remains.

Lung sack cancer is another disease than lung cancer.

What is lung sac cancer?

Lung sac cancer is an uncommon disease. It is often people between the ages of 60 and 70 who have worked with asbestos earlier in life.

It is unusual for lung sac cancer to spread to other parts of the body.

Lung sac cancer is also called malignant pleurisy celiac

What is the lung sac?

The lungs are surrounded by lung sac. It consists of two membranes. One membrane covers the lungs, the other one covers the chest wall. A thin layer of fluid between the membranes keeps them moist and easily slides on each other.

How does cancer occur?

The body consists of many billions of cells. The cells divide to form new cells so that the body can function. Sometimes it gets wrong when a cell divides. Usually, it does nothing or the cell can stop the error from spreading to more cells at the next cell division. But sometimes it doesn’t work. Then more and more altered cells can be formed for each cell division. Eventually, cancer cells can form and become a cancerous tumor. The cancer cells divide uncontrollably and do not die when they should.

What is the cause of lung sack cancer?

The most common cause of lung sac cancer is asbestos. Asbestos ponds easily. The dust consists of small, thin and sharp mineral fibers. They can float around in the air for several days. It is easy to inhale them and then they get stuck in the lungs.

It can take 30 years or more for a cancerous tumor to develop in the lung sac after you inhale asbestos.

But everyone who has worked with asbestos does not get cancer.

Asbestos was used in insulation and building materials

Asbestos has been used as insulation and building materials. You may have come into contact with asbestos if you have worked such as construction workers, plumbers, electricians or shipyard workers.

Even today, you may be exposed to asbestos if you work on demolishing, repairing or rebuilding houses built before the 1970s. Use protective equipment.

Symptoms of lung sack cancer

You may have one or more of the following symptoms of lung sack cancer:

  • You are easily breathed without your effort.
  • You have chest or abdominal pain.
  • You sweat more than usual, especially at night.
  • Your fingertips are swollen.

You can also get tired fast, lose the desire to eat or lose weight without knowing why. The symptoms of lung sack cancer develop for a long time. They may also have causes other than cancer.

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a  health care center  if you think you may have lung sac cancer. You can contact many receptions by logging in. 


It is common with several examinations before the doctor can tell if your symptoms are due to lung sac cancer.

Body examination and chest x-ray

The doctor does a  body examination after describing your complaints. Tell me if you have been working with asbestos, even if it was a long time ago.

You will be examined with a pulmonary x-ray to show if there is any change.

You may come to a lung clinic

You will receive a referral to a lung clinic if your doctor thinks you may have cancer. The lung clinic should call you within two weeks. Contact your doctor if you have to wait longer. Then the doctor can make sure you get to a lung clinic in another hospital if you want. At the lung clinic, several examinations are done.

PET camera survey can provide answers

A PET camera examination can often show if you have a change in the lung sac that can be cancer.

Sometimes the doctor needs to take a test

There are various samples that may be needed for the doctor to safely say that it is cancer or something else. The sample is examined under a microscope in a laboratory.

Cell or tissue samples

A cell sample or tissue sample from the change starts with you getting the pain relief and soothing drugs. You’re on a British. Then insert the needle through the chest to the area to be examined. The doctor controls the needle using an X-ray.

Sampling takes about one minute. The entire study takes a total of five to ten minutes.

The liquid is dropped from the lungs

A sample of the fluid in the lung sac is taken if you are very short of breath. First, you get local anesthesia. Then, the doctor inserts a needle through the chest on the back or side and into the lung sac where the fluid is present. The liquid is drained while the sample is being taken. Then the breathlessness usually disappears.

The stick goes fast. The entire treatment and sampling take a few minutes, depending on how much liquid is being discharged.

The inside of the chest may need to be examined

Sometimes the doctor may need to look into the chest. First, you sleep. Then the doctor makes a small incision in the chest and inserts a narrow, flexible instrument. The doctor can take pictures and samples with the instruments.

The examination takes a total of 20-30 minutes, depending on how much the doctor needs to examine.

Other examinations if you have lung sac cancer

More research is needed if it is clear that you have lung sac cancer. The studies can show if cancer has spread. Here are some examples of surveys:

  • An isotope study of the skeleton means that you first get a syringe with a substance that is weakly radioactive. Then it appears if there is cancer in the skeleton when the doctor examines you with a gamma camera.
  • An ultrasound examination can show if there is cancer in the liver.
  • Computed tomography can show if cancer has spread.

Treatment can usually only slow down the disease

Lung sac cancer is most often detected when you have been ill for a while. Then you can rarely get rid of cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy may be possible, though unusual.

But there is always treatment for lung sack cancer that allows you to live with the disease for a while and still feel good. More than half of all people who have lung sack cancer live more than a year after being diagnosed.

It is most common to receive treatment that slows down and shrinks the cancerous tumor. Most people receive a combination of different cytostatic drugs, and sometimes radiotherapy. 

Cytostatic drugs are the most common

Most are treated with two or three different types of cytostatic drugs. These are drugs that inhibit cancer cells. You get the drugs as a syringe or drip into your blood once a day. It takes about an hour each time. Most people can leave the hospital afterward.

The treatment for lung sack cancer is repeated every day for a few days. It’s called a cure. After a cure, you have to take a break for a week before the next cure begins.

The entire treatment period with cures and breaks usually lasts for a few months.

Cytostatic, for example, can make you feel ill, but there are drugs that can prevent it. You may also become more sensitive to infections. Contact your doctor if you have a fever or cough. You may need antibiotics.

Operation only occasionally

It is unusual for lung sac cancer to be operated on. It is only possible if the disease is detected at an early stage and you feel well enough otherwise. Otherwise, it is too difficult to get rid of all cancer.

There are different types of operations.

One operation involves removing as much of the lung sac and the cancerous tumor as possible.

The second type involves removing the entire lung, along with the lung sac. You can live with just one lung, but you may have trouble breathing when you exert yourself.

Some receive radiotherapy or cytostatics after surgery. It can reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.


Radiation therapy can relieve you if you have pain or other symptoms. Radiation therapy can reduce the risk of the cancer coming back if you have been operated on. Radiation therapy is usually given once a day and for a few to several weeks. Here you can read more about radiation therapy .

If cancer comes back

You may come to several control visits when the treatment for lung sack cancer is complete as the cancer may return. Then you can get treatment again but it can vary slightly compared to the treatment you received the first time. It depends on how you feel and whether the cancer tumor has spread.

How is lung cancer affected by life?

Lung sack cancer can cause you to get short of breath and get chest pain. There is good help to be had.

Help if you are out of breath

It is common to become breathless. This is because too much fluid is formed in the lung sac. Often it feels better if it is dropped. You can read more about it in the Investigations and Investigations chapter.

You may receive other treatments if the fluid continues to form despite being drained several times. Then you are treated with a substance that causes the membranes of the lung sac to grow together. After that, no more liquid can be formed.

The doctor inserts a thin plastic tube with the substance through a small incision in the chest. First, you get local anesthesia .

The treatment usually takes a few days. In the meantime, you need to stay in the hospital.

If you are in pain

There are many different medicines and other treatments if you are in pain. It may be different from what works best. Read more in the texts about pain and palliative care.

Fitness can be affected

Your energy will be affected if you have been operated on. Then you may find it more difficult, for example, to go the same distance as before. It can help with physical exercise that is right for you. 

Notification of work injury

Your doctor may report a work injury if you have lung sack cancer and have previously been exposed to asbestos at work.

Getting a cancer message

There are many ways to respond to a cancer message. Often, you need plenty of time to talk to your doctor and other healthcare professionals about what the message means.

If possible, please let a relative accompany you. The related person can act as a support and can help remember what has been said.

You can also ask to have the information printed so that you can read it peacefully. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You also have the right to receive interpreting assistance if you have a hearing impairment.

You can get support from several directions

In many hospitals, there are special nurses called contact nurses who can provide support and also help with various practical things. You can also talk to the hospital’s curator.

Here you can read more about different types of  help and support in cancer.

Children also need to know

Children have the right to receive information and support based on their own needs if a relative is ill. 

Often it is good to make children as involved as possible, regardless of their age. That doesn’t mean you have to tell everything. You can get help with what you can say if you need it. You can read more in the text  Getting a cancer message.

Be involved and influence your care

You have the right to be involved in your care as much as possible. The healthcare staff should tell you what treatment options are available. They should make sure you understand what the different options mean, what side effects are available and where you can get treatment.

That way you can help decide which treatment is right for you.

Questions that are important to you

You can make a care plan together with the contact nurse, the doctor and other staff. The care plan should answer questions that are important to you, such as how to get the rehabilitation you may need.

Here you can read more about the contact nurse and the care plan.

You can get a new medical assessment

You may get a  new medical assessment from another doctor if you have a life-threatening or particularly serious illness. Obtaining another doctor’s assessment can help you, for example, if you are unsure of which treatment or treatment is best for you.

Being related

Sometimes it can be difficult to be close to someone who is ill. It is common to want to provide support while having a strong concern and feeling bad.

If possible, try to let people in your vicinity support you. It can be family members, friends or acquaintances. Often it will be easier for other people to help you by telling you how it feels and showing if you are worried or sad.

Muhammad Nadeem

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