Pseudomyxoma Survivor is a small charity with a big heart. Run entirely by volunteers, the charity’s aims can be summarised as support, awareness and research for the rare cancer pseudomyxoma peritonei (or PMP) and other appendix cancers.
Pseudomyxoma peritonei, pronounced ‘sue-doh-mix-oh-muh pary-ih-ton-nee-i’, generally starts in the appendix. More rarely, it can start in other parts of the body such as the bowel, an ovary or the bladder. It affects around two people per million each year of all ages, both men and women, from young to old.
The disease is caused when a tumour develops inside the appendix from a polyp, a small growth on the inner lining of your appendix. At this early stage, the tumour is rarely discovered as it doesn’t cause any symptoms.
Left untreated, the tumour grows and eventually bursts through the wall of the appendix into your abdominal cavity where more tumours then develop. These tumours then secrete a jelly-like substance called mucin which accumulates in your abdominal cavity.
It is this build up of mucin that causes symptoms, the abdomen swells leading to a characteristic ‘jelly belly’ and vital organs are compressed. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal.
Pseudomyxoma Survivor offers support through an online forum and a buddy scheme as well as through more practical measures such as family grants and keeping up to date with treatment options. The charity supports research into the disease both financially and by being the patients’ voice for researchers and medical specialists.
Pseudomyxoma Survivor is a registered charity in England and Wales, number 1143642
– See more at: http://www.pseudomyxomasurvivor.org/