Stories of Patient Power, by Andrew Schorr
Appendiceal cancer is very rare – considered a one in a million diagnosis. Hear from Jennifer Ambrose, who experienced this first hand after being diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritoneal cancer. Jennifer is joined by her doctor, Dr. Andrew Lowy, a pioneer recognized around the world for his expertise. He joins the hour to shed light on promising advances for the treatment of this rare cancer.
Read Jennifer Ambrose's appendiceal cancer story
This 30-Minute Program Features:
- Andrew Lowy, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Professor and Chief of Surgical Oncology
University of California San Diego Health System
Dr. Lowy is recognized worldwide for his expertise in the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer and for investigating novel cancer treatments, which incorporate surgery and chemotherapy to treat patients with advanced cancer that has spread to the abdomen. Dr. Lowy serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology . He also serves as surgical liaison to the Pancreas and Hepatobiliary Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), which is one of the largest National Cancer Institute cooperative groups. Recently, Dr. Lowy was selected to co-chair the National Cancer Institute’s Pancreatic Cancer Task Force, which is charged with setting the direction of clinical research in pancreatic cancer in the United States. He has conducted extensive research in gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer with funding from the National Cancer Institute.
- Jennifer Ambrose
Diagnosed with appendiceal cancer
In April 2007, Ambrose was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called pseudomyxoma peritoneal cancer after a laparoscopic appendectomy revealed a malignant tumor. Pseudomyxoma peritoneal cancer strikes one of every 1 million Americans. Sometimes referred to as "jelly belly," it is usually caused by a mucus-producing tumor cell, often in the appendix. Jennifer underwent a nine hour surgery at UC San Diego Health. Dr. Lowy and his team removed a tumor from her liver, right diaphragm and spleen. After the surgery, the team administered a heated chemotherapy solution that is circulated throughout the abdomen for nearly two hours. Ambrose, who is now home in Chicago and who says she is cancer-free, said the side effects of the chemo bath have been minimal, with only a few strands of her hair, not clumps or entirely, as with conventional chemotherapy.
Listen to the Audio Program (you will be taken to the Patient Power website)