Solitary fibrous tumorMesothelioma - benign; Mesothelioma - fibrous; Pleural fibroma
Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is a noncancerous tumor of the lining of the lung and chest cavity, an area called the pleura. SFT used to be called localized fibrous mesothelioma.
A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).
The exact cause of SFT remains unknown. This type of tumor affects men and women equally.
About one half of the people with this type of tumor do not show any symptoms.
If the tumor grows to a large size and pushes on the lung, it can lead to symptoms, such as:
Exams and Tests
SFT is usually found by accident when a chest x-ray is done for other reasons. If the health care provider suspects SFT, tests will be ordered. These may include:
A chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.
The diagnosis of SFT is difficult compared with the cancerous type of this disease, called malignant mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. SFT is not caused by asbestos exposure.
Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon cancerous tumor. It mainly affects the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or lining of the abdomen (...
Treatment is usually to remove the tumor.
The outcome is expected to be good with prompt treatment. In rare cases, the tumor may return.
Fluid escaping into the membranes around the lungs (pleural effusion) is a complication.
A pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your provider if you notice symptoms of SFT.
Haithcock BE, Zagar TM, Zhang L, Stinchcombe TE. Diseases of the pleura and mediastinum. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 73.
Myers JL, Arenberg DA. Benign lung tumors. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 56.
Respiratory system - illustration
Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.
Review Date: 7/28/2018
Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.