Gelatinous peritoneal cancer

Gelatinous peritoneal cancer

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Credit: CNRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gelatinous peritoneal cancer. Section through an abdominal cavity affected by pseudomyxoma peritonea. This condition is caused by cancerous mucinous adenocarcinoma cells that produce an abundance of mucin protein, or gelatinous ascites (fluid accumulations). The tumours cause fibrosis of tissues and impede digestion or organ function. If left untreated, the tumours and the mucin they produce will fill the abdominal cavity, resulting in compression of the abdominal organs and destruction of their function. The disease is terminal if left untreated, but the prognosis is optimistic with treatment.

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