Apr 04, 2011 - 11:33 pm
My brother is in the throws of esophogeal/stomach cancer, has had chemo and radiation but was not allowed to receive surgery due to low albumin levels. He began experiencing abdominal bloating, and during evaluation they did a CT scan indicating spots around the abdomen lining and a potential spot in the liver and determined the fluid to be Malignant Ascites.
He had a feeder tube placed in his stomach to improve nutrition intake since he has continued to have swallowing problems and even bleeding at the esophagus/stomach sphincter. They plan to put a fluid drainage tube into his abdomen tomorrow, 4-5-2011.
I have heard no good news as to treatment of the ascites fluid and wondered if chemo will help assuming he is strong enough for more chemo. He is 63 normally weighs about 153 lbs. but is down to about 110 lbs. with considerable muscle loss. (If you know of anything that has helped to cure malignant ascites please let me know.)
Of those who have had chemo after having ascites, did the ascites respond positively to the chemo, by killing or shrinking the cancer cells?
Also, I have seen where trials have been done using albumin to treat cirrhosis related ascites which represents about 80% of all ascites. Also, when drawing the fluid from the abdomen (parentasis) they are suppose to give albumin to restore some system balance.
It is my understanding that albumin helps to bind the blood cells and protect against leakage of blood fluids through vessels and arteries, which makes low albumin appear to be the main culprit for liver ascites and malignant ascites (cancer in the abdomen lining).
What would be the risk of trying albumin supplementation? Is it too expensive? I suppose this would be more appropriately directed to the medical community, but our doctor seemed to think I was off base but gave no reason why it should not work. She only said the "fluid is coming from the cancer cells in the abdomen lining".