Mayo Clinic one of few centers offering hot chemotherapy

At 21 years old, Taylor Overby remembers how she found out she had colon cancer.

“It was really bad abdominal pains, constipation, vomiting,” Overby said.

She was diagnosed in 2013.

She was a senior in college and said she was shocked. She didn’t have a family history of the cancer.

“I never thought it was colon cancer because you think that’s what older people get,” Overby said.

Overby had two surgeries and multiple rounds of chemo but recently needed more.

“I was good for about six months and that was when they said it was in the lining of my abdomen and some lymph nodes,” said Overby.

Doctors at Mayo Clinic decided Overby needed another surgery, and she was also a perfect candidate for hot chemotherapy, also called HIPEC.

‘We take chemo in a large solution a couple of gallons put it in the abdomen and let it soak in the abdomen in the hope it will kill any microscopic disease left behind,” Dr. Sanjay Bargaria, a Surgical Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, said.

The chemo is heated to around 107 degrees and sits in a person’s abdomen for about 90 minutes.

Bargaria said the procedure is only done on a select number of patients and usually only younger patients because of the longer recovery time.

“In Northeast Florida, we're the only center that does it, and in the southeast United States we’re one of three that does it, so it’s not done frequently,” said Bargaria.

Bargaria said the procedure with Overyby was successful and she'll get check-ups every few months.