A new chemotherapy treatment that is applied during surgery is now available in Southwest Florida. Called Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), the treatment is a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment designed to remove cancer cells from the abdominal area during surgery.
Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncologist Mark Bloomston, MD with South Florida Surgical Oncology recently completed one of the first HIPEC treatments in Southwest Florida, making him one of only a handful of doctors throughout Florida and the US offering this treatment.
Before patients receive the HIPEC treatment, they must first undergo surgery to remove all of their visible tumors. During the surgery, heated chemotherapy is circulated throughout the abdominal cavity in an attempt to destroy any remaining but invisible cancer cells. The solution, which is heated above 106 degrees Fahrenheit, is circulated for roughly 90 minutes before it is drained and the surgery is completed.
HIPEC is a recommended and effective treatment for patients with cancer that has spread to the lining of the abdominal area, including those of the appendix and colon as well as peritoneal mesothelioma. The benefits of HIPEC include:
1) Concentrated chemotherapy within the abdomen minimizes exposure to normal cells throughout the body.
2) Allows for higher doses of chemotherapy in comparison to chemotherapy given intravenously due to differences in absorption.
3) Reduces some chemotherapy side effects.
4) Offers one of the most effective ways to kill cancer cells that are too small to be seen by the naked eye.
Due to the complexity of HIPEC, patients may be limited in their options of where to receive this treatment. South Florida Surgical Oncology, a division of 21st Century Oncology, is located at 4571 Colonial Blvd., Suite 100, Fort Myers, FL 33966.
For more information about South Florida Surgical Oncology, call (239) 333-0995 or visit www.southfloridasurgicaloncology.com