Ovarian cancer: my mum has an increased amount of fluid in her abdomen


i I am currently caring for my elderly Mum who is doing well as she is still at home. She has ovarian cancer and sadly her recent treatment of chemotherapy has not worked. 
Mum has fluid on her stomach and had a permanent drain fitted six weeks ago. This last week the draining has increased to three times a week as they are getting 900 ml ( full bottle) from Mum.

Mum can still do small jobs round the house and is having her three meals a day but she is losing weight and feeling more tired.

Sorry to ask but has anyone experienced this kind of cancer ? Is the increased amount of fluid a sign that things are going to change?

Thank you Sarah xx

  • Hi Sarah, 

    I am so sorry to hear about your mum and that her recent chemotherapy treatment has not worked and she has all this fluid in her stomach which they are having to drain. It must be really hard to watch for those around her as well as witnessing her get more and more tired and losing weight. I am glad though that she is still keeping busy doing small jobs around the house and that she is eating regularly still. 

    There is detailed information on our website on ovarian cancer which you might be interested in having a look at. I've also found a small section on our website on fluid in the abdomen and it mentions that there are a number of reasons why ascites (the medical term for fluid in the abdomen) develop as "for example, when cancer cells spread to the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum), they can irritate it and cause fluid to build up. Also, cancer can block part of the lymphatic system so fluid can't drain out of the abdomen as usual."  Have a read too of our general page on ascites (fluid in the abdomen) which contains valuable information and resources.

    I am not sure myself what this increased amount of fluid might mean but I hope that you will hear from the experiences of others who have been affected by ovarian cancer in a similar way and that they will be able to tell you more. I would also suggest you give our cancer nurses a call as they will be able to advise you further on this - you can get in touch with them on this free number 0808 800 4040 - their line is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. 

    Best wishes to you and your mum, 

    Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator