Malignant Ascites Prognosis and Treatment
Causes and Ways to Cure Malignant Ascites
Malignant ascites is a formation of fluids and cancer cells in the abdominal cavity. Patients who suffer from this are usually on the final stage of their cancer events.
According to the most recent study conducted by a team of oncologists, this is a common occurrence for people with ovarian and gastrointestinal cancer.
Malignant ascites is caused by various factors. In most cases, this condition is caused by liver diseases which require doctors to look into their patients’ medical history such as alcohol consumption or abuse, numbers of sexual partners, intake of certain drugs and intravenous drugs use, Hepatitis C and jaundice, blood transfusion and presence of body tattoos.
There are various treatments for malignant ascites, one of these is called sodium restriction and diuretic therapy. This procedure is the most commonly used treatment and management for ascites since it has been proven to be effective in almost 95 percent of cancer patients. Candidates for this treatment are those patients suffering from hyponatremia which is condition where the body experiences sodium deficiency in the blood.
Surgical treatment can also be used in ascite management. It is a process which drains peritoneal fluid directly from the peritoneum and into the internal jugular vein. It is often used for patients with a condition of intractable ascites and can be sometimes used in people with refractory ascites. This treatment provides beneficial results such as promotion of good renal flow; increased cardiac performance; increased the volume of urine which can result to effective sodium excretion; promotion of good glomerular filtration rate; decreased plasma aldosterone concentration and plasma renin activity. This procedure may not prove to be beneficial if TIPS treatment has already been applied to the patient.
Patients with malignant ascites are required to have a special diet. In-house patients can have sodium restriction of 500 mg/d (22 mmol/d) which is only possible when they are in a hospital setting (this is not achievable for outpatient). This treatment procedure is only given to patients who suffer from sodium level below 120 mmol/L.
There are various laboratory testing in order to diagnose this condition, these include cell count which determines inflammatory condition that generally causes elevated levels of white blood cells; SAAG test which is an effective procedure in diagnosing portal hypertensive and non–portal hypertensive factors; protein count which only provides 55 percent accuracy rate; Neutrophil counts which determines if there is elevated level of cells responsible for defending the body against bacterial infections; Cytology smear which provides 58-75 accuracy rate of diagnosing malignant ascites; ultrasound which is the most effective in detecting ascetic fluids; and CT scan which is also efficient in diagnosing this condition.
For patients who are suffering from this condition, it is highly-recommended to seek hepatologists and gastrointestinal specialists apart from their general oncologists.