Abdominal Cancer Gets a Different Approach
Cancer affects millions of lives globally every year. Treatment of cancer is a test in itself as there are always side effects related to various methods, while their success rates may be too low. The later stages of abdominal cancer were considered untreatable until very recently.
With the advancements in science, however, a different approach is being taken for the treatment of cancer. This new method doubles the success rates of cancer treatment cases while also reducing the chance for recurring cancer in a body.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, also known as HIPEC, is the new treatment that is said to be the best chance against many forms of abdominal cancer including the cancers of liver, pancreas and stomach among others. Once a person gets cancer, the affected organ is removed as soon as possible before the cancer spreads and metastasizes other organs. HIPEC has a much higher success rate than conventional chemotherapy, which is administered intravenously.
How it Works
Abdominal cancer gets a different treatment approach, as compared to other methods, using HIPEC. It works by first removing the cancer that can be surgically resected. Then up to three liters of chemotherapy solution is inserted directly into the abdominal cavity and is circulated for 90 minutes. The solution is heated to 41-43 degrees Celsius to make it more potent. The whole procedure is also relatively less painful than getting rounds of chemotherapy.
The treatment is given in a single operation where visible cancerous tissue is removed and concentrated chemotherapy solution is administered directly into the abdomen. This is beneficial over typical chemotherapy which is done in sessions and takes a much longer time. Secondly as the solution is not given intravenously it does not travel throughout the body and can be targeted directly to the affected area. As the solution is heated and concentrated, it is absorbed by the microscopic cancer cells that may not be removed otherwise.
Over the past 5 years we have seen a survival rate of 30 to 40 percent for stage 4 colorectal cancer patients, while only 10 years ago the survival rate stood at 0 percent. The treatment is fairly new in the field of oncology but we are seeing a gradual increase in its practice as more and more doctors are getting trained for it and it is becoming a standard procedure for treatment of different forms of abdominal cancer.
The Side Effects
Due to the intense dose of chemotherapy solution given to the stomach, patients are unable to eat or drink anything for about two weeks. They have to be given nutrition using a feeding tube or an I.V. Regardless of this minor side effect, success rates are more promising than ever before, with the patient having an actual chance at survival and living a healthy normal life.
The physical and emotional torment of undergoing treatment is something all cancer patients and their well-wishers would duly attest to. It is a disease that not only affects the person on whose body it befalls, but leaves an impression upon their loved ones as well. With this relatively different approach towards abdominal cancer, it can be made sure that the patient goes through as little pain as possible during treatment and that the families don’t have to see their loved ones going through difficult treatments without even a 100% assurance of survival.