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Abdominal chemo?
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Abdominal chemo?

Hi everyone...
I was wondering if anyone could tell me more about peritoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer? Recently, I had a patient (I'm a paramedic) who had an abdominal medication port and this is what they were doing to her...Do you know if this heightens the risk of peritonitis? I understand it is pretty effective, but also that ovarian cancer has a 70% chance of returning after it goes into remission...The web sites I've investigated are pretty vague on information concerning the treatment and prognosis for ovarian CA patients...Anyone? ~MM
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Avatar_m_tn
My wife had her abdominal (inter-peritoneal) port removed recently.  She had 4 Cisplatin treatments, one every three weeks.  In months prior, she also had six IV treatments of Carboplatin and Taxol along with cytoreductive (debulking) surgery.  She is doing well now with her CA125 in single digits.  The doctors tell us she is NED... "No Evidence of Disease" at this time.  She is to have blood work and CT scans every three months for the next year and then maybe extend the tests to every six months.  

You are right... there isn't a lot of information out there on IP chemo treatments.  My wife and I decided if there was any chance of the IP chemo keeping her OC at bay, it would be foolish to not try it.  It is only effective on smaller cell clusters, but the studies they have done, indicate the IP chemo is up to 20 times more effective than IV treatments at killing free-floating cancer cells and extending the life expectancy of the patient.

We didn't want to skip IP chemo and then at some point in the future regret it because it was too late for it to be effective.  My wife's Ob/Gyn surgeon is a leading USC Norris Cancer doctor who is a strong believer in IP chemo treatment and we trust him.

My wife's medical oncologist with the UCLA Cancer Center, admitted the IP chemo is "controversial", but he was confident we were in good hands and were making the right decision.  I don't know if it will be effective, or not, but my wife went through it like a trooper and we won't have to play the "what if" game in the future.

Yes, peritonitis can be a risk of having the port implant.  We were told, perforation of the bowel and / or stomach can occur.  The portacath is a foreign body/substance and a person's physiology can react adversely.  Thankfully, MY WIFE HAD NO COMPLICATIONS from the port.  She didn't like the treatments, but after a week, the effects of those faded and she kept up the routine.

I can't address your question about OC recurrence.  Right now, my wife is feeling good and better every day.  Worrying about it coming back is a little like sitting in a rocking chair... It keeps you moving, but doesn't get you anywhere.  Live in the moment and give thanks for each day you have with friends and family.

Roy  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your reply! I understand this is a new treatment and anything that is new will have some controversy. The patient I saw was being treated through UWMC and she looked as if she were tolerating it well. I wanted to know more for future reference, -if I come across someone else who hasn't explored that option and it seems promising. The science makes sense...I had my own experience with chemo (6 months for my liver) and so far, I am still clear...It will be 2 years in August...I agree, you can't just sit and wait, dreading its return...You have to live life while you have it and can enjoy the quality you still have...I wish your wife and you good health, and my prayers that she will be in the percentage that it never comes back in...((((HUGZ))) Thanks again for the info...~MM
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