Malignant Ascites Prognosis and Treatment

Causes and Ways to Cure Malignant Ascites

Posted on 8/22/2008 9:25:27 PM

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.
 

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COMMENT

Name: Jutta Hawthorne

How long can a patient survive with intractable malignant ascites?

Name: colette

I would like to know answer to this as my dad has ascites and has had 3.5 litres drained so far. He has pancreatic cancer with liver secondries

Name: janet

my husband has stage 4 colon cancer and has severe ascites. the doctors do not want to drain it

Name: Janie

Looking for average survival length after diagnosis of ascites

Name: eamonn nolan

how long can a patient survive after diagnosis ?

Name: Veenti Duhan

How long a patient suffering from malignant ascites can survive after diagnosis?

Name: len hickman

my brother in law has ascites secondary to his pancreatic cancer with liver and peritoneal mets his tumor markers are going way down but he had close to 3 liters of ascites drawn off yesterday. he was diagnosed with a grapefruit size mass in the body of the pancreas mid december. he is on a experimental c

Name: Shirley Miller

My sister has ascites and has been drained one time two weeks ago and she is very large again needs to be drained again, does she have a chance of survival and if not how long do you think she will survive. ?

Name: Alex Robinson

I am sorry to hear about all of your relatives battling with their cancers. Malignant ascites is not a good thing I'm afraid. It normally signals that the disease is progressing to a more terminal stage. In one study the average length of survival in untreated malignant ascites was 20 weeks. With chemotherapy, drainage and fluid therapy there may be some benefit to both long term survival and patient comfort. Stay strong and I wish you and your families all the best.
*I am not a qualified medical practitioner any advice is just my opinion based upon my medical education up until now.

Name: Shirley Dudley

My husband has had the ascites for 6 months. He just slipped into a coma today. 3 days ago he was up walking around, still knew everything that was going on. Tonight I noticed a dark bruising below the ascites. He has taken 1 pain pill in the last 6 months. His cancer started in his mouth, and spread to the liver.

Name: soraya

My husband has been battling Rhabdomyosarcoma a rare cancer for over a year 1/2, he had chemotheraphy up to march but due to low plates level he had not had any recently, he had a biliary tube that got replaced back in july in the hospital, and we believe that exchange cause them to bring cancer cells along and now he has a second tumor growing along the biliary tube and liver. Now he has developed Malignant Ascites and has been hospitilized for 2 weeks now, he has a very large abdominal area due to the excesive liquid acumulation. Dorctors have told us this is the last state and he's condition has worsen to terminal. In his case is worse due to also 4 tumors developing in his lungs, he can hardly move from bed or any at all, and if he does is to get up to go to the restroom but with assistance. He looses his breath and is now in oxygen, I beliveve because of his lung tumors is just making it worse. I know I have read that normally patients live 1-4 months after being diagnosed but in his case I see he has too many complications. Im just wondering if anyone is familiar with all these conditions and have any idea what time frame or what we can expect in this process..

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