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Pseudomyxoma Survivor Lauren shares her story

Lauren and Alfie

I was diagnosed with PMP in October 2010 following my 20-week prenatal ultrasound. I had cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC (hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy) in February 2011 by Professor Moran and Mr Cecil at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

It started with pelvic pain in 2007 and had an ultrasound scan which showed free fluid in my pelvis but at this time nothing more was said or done and queried irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or endometriosis. Then in 2009, I fell pregnant. At my 12-week scan, a cystic area was noted but not affecting my pregnancy so no action taken and it was put down to endometriosis again.

My pregnancy was very textbook and I had my son Alfie in March 2010. I then had an appointment in June to see a gynecologist as a follow-up as my scan had shown this cystic mass and a laparoscopy was performed which left all the surgeons baffled.

They noticed my appendix looked abnormal so took it out and sent it for pathology tests. In the meantime, a colposcopy¹ was done with no concerns. I then had an appointment to see a colorectal surgeon in October who proceeded to tell me my appendix had a tumour and I’d need to be referred to the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as they dealt with pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). I also had an MRI scan. On December 23rd 2010, I went meet Mr Cecil who told me the extent of the disease and that I’d need complete cytoreduction with HIPEC. I had this in February 2011, just before Alfie’s first birthday. I spent two weeks in hospital and I have had no evidence of disease since.

I’m on HRT² which has helped loads and have started a new job in a hospital caring for patients after surgery. My recovery went very well, spurred on by my young son, and I continue to do well following my treatment and enjoy quality time with my little boy and family.

– Lauren

 

Lauren’s story was updated in 2015.

#appendixtumour, #pseudomyxomaperitonei
¹ Colposcopy

A colposcopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to closely examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva for any signs of abnormal cells or tissue. During a colposcopy, the doctor uses a special instrument called a colposcope to magnify and illuminate the area, making it easier to see any abnormal areas. If an abnormality is detected, the doctor may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) for further testing. The procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes. It is a relatively safe procedure, but some women may experience mild discomfort or cramping.

² HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medical treatment that involves the use of hormones to supplement or replace the hormones that the body is no longer producing in sufficient quantities. HRT may be used to treat conditions such as menopause, where the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone declines, causing a range of symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes.

HRT can help relieve symptoms of menopause, but it also carries certain risks, such as an increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and stroke. The decision to use HRT should be made after consulting with a healthcare provider and considering individual risks and benefits.

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The patient stories shared on this website are personal accounts of individuals who have been affected by pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), appendix cancer, or related rare peritoneal surface malignancy (PSM). These stories are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person’s medical situation is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. The stories shared on this website should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, and readers should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical concerns or questions. The views and opinions expressed in the patient stories are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit organization or its members.