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  • Linitis Plastica Treatment

    Linitis plastica is a rare gastric cancer that is also known as Brinton’s Disease. It is a fast growing cancer that can turn the stomach walls into scar-like tissue.

    This condition is called “leather bottle stomach” and it makes it difficult for patients to digest food or nutrients. Linitis plastica also spreads to other parts of the body.

    Unfortunately, due to the rarity of linitis plastica not a lot is known about how to best treat this condition. (learn more about the symptoms of linitis plastic)

    How does it work?

    Current treatment for linitis plastica usually involves partial or complete removal of the stomach. This is known as a partial or total gastrectomy. Chemotherapy is often used to either help reduce the size of the tumor, relieve the symptoms, or help to keep the cancer from coming back.

    The focus

    The focus of linitis plastica treatment is to treat the patient as quickly as possible so that the cancer does not have the opportunity to spread to other parts of the body.

    Treatment Types

    Types of treatment for linitis plastica include surgery, perioperative chemotherapy, palliative chemotherapy and intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatments can be administered by drip, by injection or by tablets.

    Perioperative chemotherapy

    This type of chemotherapy is given before and after surgery. The goal is to reduce the size of the tumor so there is less to remove during surgery. This makes removing the tumor easier and hopefully also decreases the chances that the cancer will return.

    Palliative chemotherapy

    Palliative chemotherapy is chemotherapy that is administered to relieve symptoms. This is done in cases where the cancer has spread too much to be treated, so doctors are trying to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

    Intraperitoneal chemotherapy

    In some cases the linitis plastica spreads to the abdomen and causes it to fill with fluid. In rare cases intraperitoneal chemotherapy is used. Physicians make an incision to drain the fluid and then administer the chemotherapy through a tube directly into the abdomen.

    Side effects

    The side effects of chemotherapy can vary greatly from patient to patient. Different medications or combinations of medications can be more successful for some people than for others.

    Being healthy to start can make dealing with treatment and its side effects less painful. Nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and hair loss are common side effects of chemotherapy. Unfortunately if the patient’s linitis plastica is too far advanced surgery and chemotherapy won’t be a cure, but treatments can still help relieve the symptoms of this disease.