By learning more about ascites , you will be able to figure out how you can deal with it in the most productive way without causing more problems for your body as well as your entire being. This article will help you find out all the information that you need to know as follows.
Ascites is a condition that is very common in cancer patients. It is referred to as the buildup of liquids inside the abdomen. Usually, there are accompanying symptoms that you can take note of if ever you would have ascites. This will be mentioned as the article progresses.
This illness is likewise known by other terms such as:
- Fluid in Peritoneal Cavity
- Abdominal Dropsy
- Excess of Peritoneal Fluid
Life Expectancy and Related Diseases
A patient with this condition would only have about a few months to live upon the onset of the disease. A few related diseases can also serve as reasons behind the development of the disease. These related diseases are as follows:
- Breast, lung or colon cancers
- Cirrhosis of the liver
General Symptoms of Ascites
Below is a list of the general symptoms that you can have if ever you would have this condition.
- Increased abdominal girth
- Abdominal distention
- Difficulty in breathing
Note that when the last symptom of the disease occurs it is most likely that you may have a malignant tumor inside your body. Contact your doctor right away for further examinations.
Diagnosis and Tests
When you go to the doctor a series of tests will be done in order to figure out what exactly is happening inside your body. An abdominal ultrasound will help determine the exact nature of your condition. In addition to this, it can also detect about 100 ml of fluid inside your abdominal cavity.
A full blood count can also identify inflammation within your body. This is why blood tests are in order as well. In addition to this, some other diseases can also develop if you already have ascites. These are as follows.
- Right Side Pleural Effusion
- Hernias Of Inguinal Or Umbilicus
Major Causes of Ascites
This condition is often caused by protein rich cancer cells which can be found lining the peritoneum. In addition to this, if the cancer cells from the liver spreads into the abdominal cavity by portal hypertension, it will cause ascites.
The condition may be classified into three grades:
- The mildest. This is only visible through ultrasound or CT scans.
- Noticeable additional symptoms are inflammation and flatness in a specific part of the abdomen.
- Openly noticeable presence of fluid can be seen.
Again, it would be very important for you to go to the doctor right away in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. A
Upon proper diagnosis, it is important to begin uplifting the general state of the affected patient. The point is to alleviate the discomfort that could be filled by the patient. It will also be conducted to address the symptoms of the disease and make the patient feel better but not necessarily to cure the patient.
Here are some treatment methods that you can follow along with your doctor’s advice to be able to get relief despite your condition.
- Use of diuretics
- Reducing water in the diet
Paracentesis refers to the use of a tube or a needle to drain out the excess liquid inside the abdominal cavity. Again, this would bring relief to the patient but not ultimately cure the disease. Draining the fluid from the abdominal cavity will only remove the liquid. More often than not, it retains the potassium inside the body. This is quite helpful because if this continues, it will bring down the potassium levels to a normal amount for the patient. In addition to this, the sodium intake of the patient should also be reduced.
Aside from the mentioned related diseases above, heart failure can also cause the condition. This is why it would help to have regular appointments with your cardiologist to monitor your cardiac health.
Upon diagnosis, the patient usually only has a maximum of four months to live. This is especially true for a patient with malignant ascites. This is because of the presence of various underlying diseases that already infects the body. That weakens the immune system and therefore renders the body toxic to outside medication. So eventually, it will lead to the patient’s demise.
However, there are still possible treatments that can be done. In the case of liver cirrhosis, liver transplants more often than not save the patient from imminent death. In addition to this, the patient is also given restrictions when it comes to water intake.
The installation of shunts can also be considered by experts. However, it does not guarantee favorable results.
The most important thing to remember is that you should be well aware of the changes in your body. If you feel that something is not right in your functioning, it is important that you are able to go to the Physician right away so that he or she will be able to get the best treatment plan possible for you as the patient.
In addition, learning all that you can about these diseases will allow you to prepare yourself mentally further challenge that you are about to face. More importantly, you should let your family know right away if ever you do encounter the condition so that they will be able to help you in any way that they can.
Familial support is an important part of treatment for a patient. Sometimes, it can also help extend the life of any patient that may have cancer. Yes, the prognosis may be grave but lot of if you have the support of your family as well as faith in a higher power, then you will be able to survive anything and everything that may come your way in the future.