Amanda Simmons loves spending time with her husband of three years in their rural home. they have dreams of turning their land into a farm, but for now, their plans are on hold. Amanda was diagnosed with colon cancer, a month after her wedding in 2014. She had surgery to remove the tumors and then went into remission.
"It metastasized a year after that surgery," says Simmons. "it came back and it's been a real struggle since it came back."
At 42, Amanda is hoping for a lifesaving cure. After doing research with a friend, she found a cutting edge treatment at the cancer treatment center of america in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to our partner station, KFOR, Amanda found a possible treatment: hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC. It's a treatment for patients with cancer in the abdomen. The operation is a two step process.
"The first part is opening up the abdomen. Sucking out all of the contaminated fluid and then removing the tumor to the maximum extent possible."
That can mean moving around several organs. The second part is pouring heated chemotherapy into the abdomen through catheters.
"We know that heat has a destructive effect on the cancer cells so to maximize the chemotherapy effect, we heat the chemotherapy."
It's a six to twelve hour surgery that minimizes exposure to chemotherapy. Dr. Prag says one study shows a better result with this concentrated type of chemo versus the traditional method of administering it. Amanda is waiting to see if she will be a good candidate for HIPEC and has her first appointment with CDCA January 16. With hope she'll be able to live her life again cancer free.
"That would mean everything. It would mean the freedom to go on with my life."
For more information on HIPEC click on the link below.