In the world of cancer, there are a lot of foundations and organizations that raise awareness to certain or all cancers, but there is ONLY ONE foundation that 100% supports the ongoing research for Appendix Cancer / PMP and that is the Appendix Cancer PMP Research Foundation. They can be found at http://www.acpmp.org and I encourage you to take a look at their site. It provides a ton of useful information regarding their past and present grants, all financial information is available for review and you can learn a bit about Appendix Cancer along the way. If you are looking for a tax deduction and are searching for a charitable organization, I urge you to consider them.
Just for a brief little school lesson, Appendix Cancer is a 1 in a Million disease. Patients have better odds in being struck by lightning or winning the lottery. However, research does show that the numbers may be rising as more people are being properly diagnosed.
If not caught prior to the mucinous tumor rupturing, most patients fight the disease called Psuedomyxoma Peritonei (PMP), which is a jelly like substance that spreads throughout the abdomen and attaches to organs, blood vessels, and linings. Sometimes, it remains jelly like and sometimes it hardens like concrete. People with Ovarian and Colon Cancers are also known to suffer from PMP. James is diagnosed with Appendix Cancer because it was determined that was his place of origin.
Treatment options are limited with PMP. The moderate to well differentiated tumors are slow growing and do not respond to systemic chemo, given the cells simply do not divide fast enough like other cancers. The standard of care is surgery or also known as the “Mother of All Surgeries” (MOAS) or medically called Cytoreduction. This is a full abdominal surgery, with an incision from chest to pelvis and the surgeon literally scoops out the jelly like tumors and chisels the calcified tumors off of organs to save them. If surgeons are successful in the removal, they then perform HIPEC, which is heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy for 90 minutes DURING surgery. Chemo is heated to 107 degrees and literally sloshed around (by hand) for the 90 minutes. It is then drained and the patient is closed up.
Recovery is about 6-12 weeks post op, with scans every 6 months to a year. Few are lucky enough to not suffer a recurrence but that is the exception and not the norm.
If you are interested in seeing a video about the Cytoreduction w/ HIPEC, take a look!