Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Treat Pseudomyxoma Peritonei


Pseudomyxoma Peritonei is a very long word for cancer of the appendix or related areas. It can start as a polyp that ruptures from the appendix and can spread to the abdomen, pelvis and surrounding area. Pseudomyxoma forms a tumor that produces mucous and can spread to the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdomen.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging



Step One

Schedule a consultation with a surgeon. Cytoreductive surgery, also known as debulking, is often the first step of treatment for this type of cancer. Other organs, like part of the colon or uterus, may also be removed at the same time. Make sure you are comfortable with the surgeon and his experience and knowledge with pseudomyxoma.

Step Two

Agree to have electro-evaporation done while in surgery, if your surgeon suggests it. Electro-evaporation has been used successfully to destroy pseudomyxoma tumors in some patients.

Step Three

Consider having argon-beam coagulation done, also while in surgery. Argon-beam coagulation has been successful in treatment for some patients with this type of cancer.

Step Four

Ask the surgeon about IP therapy; intraperitoneal chemotherapy has been successful in treatment of pseudomyxoma peritonei. IP therapy begins with the surgeon placing a catheter into the abdominal area affected by the cancer. After the surgery, chemotherapy is introduced into the catheter allowing the chemo drugs to go directly to the pseudomyxoma. Some patients have benefited from a hyperthermic form of this chemotherapy, where it is heated before being introduced.

Step Five

Continue with the recommended follow up visits after the surgery and chemotherapy treatments are done. Follow up visits are important to catch any recurrence of pseudomyxoma cancer early.

Step Six

Report any unusual or recurring symptoms immediately to your doctor; the symptoms may be a sign of cancer recurrence and need further investigation.

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