Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Will chemotherapy help ascites
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Will chemotherapy help ascites

I have stage IV breast cancer after being cured for 12 years. I am currently on Taxol. My cancer has spread to my bones, spine and liver.  According to my recent MRI, there are new legions showing in my liver. I had a MRI previously but showed nothing. I have ascites in my stomach and have to get my stomach tapped once a month to remove the fluid. My doctor said the ascites is coming from the cancer(tumor)in my stomach. Since the new lesions showed on the MRI, he is now  saying the fluid is coming from my liver.  He  said if he could shrink the tumor with chemotherapy then the ascites would go away. Have you known chemotherapy to get rid of ascites? Is there a cure for ascites and should I see a liver specialist? My doctor doesn't seem concerned about the ascites. He is mostly concentrating on the treatment for breast cancer but I am having more problems with  ascites. Thank you for your information.
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Dear Esther:  Your doctor is right.  If the tumors in your liver shrink significantly, the ascites will likely diminish.  Whether it will ever "go away" is another issue.  There is no "cure" for ascites itself.  There are medications that MAY help.  Sometimes a diuretic can help - but caution must be taken that it does not cause dehydration.  Tapping can also help - but as you have experienced, it is temporary.  Chemotherapy is the best option for attempting to control the source of the ascites.
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