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Undergoing chemotherapy for small cell carcinoma. Started bloating. What could be the cause?

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My father has recently been diagonsed with small cell carcinoma and currently undergoing chemotherapy. After the last session of chemotherapy he has had bloated abdomen which not decreasing. The size around the waist has increased to almost 40 inches and has remained constant. What could be the cause?
Posted Sun, 5 Aug 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

I am sorry to hear about your dad. The bloated abdomen may be due to various reasons like-
1. Fluid in abdomen-may be due to low protein in blood, heart failure (as he has heart disease and chemo can exacerbate heart failure), liver function impairment, kidney failure or cancer spreading in abdominal cavity
2. Increased liver size-again may be due to cancer spreading in liver or heart failure itself
3. Gaseous distension-unlikely as it is persistent
4. Tumor spread into any other organ causing abdominal distension

To find out the cause few tests like liver function tests, echocardiogram, USG of abdomen and testing of abdominal fluid, if any, will be needed. Please discuss with your oncologist regarding these.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be happy to answer any follow-up queries.
Best Wishes,
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