Peritoneal Cancer

Peritoneal cancer, rare yet crucial for women, mirrors ovarian cancer traits. Early detection is vital. Concerned about symptoms? Prioritize your health by scheduling an appointment now.

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What is peritoneal cancer?

Peritoneal cancer, though rare, emerges within the peritoneum—a fine sheath that blankets our abdomen and swathes critical organs, including the uterus, bladder and rectum. This protective layer, by secreting lubricants, facilitates the seamless motion of organs inside the abdomen. 

Intriguingly, its manifestation mirrors that of ovarian cancer, a likeness rooted in their shared epithelial cellular makeup. This resemblance becomes evident when women, having undergone ovary removal, show signs of ovarian cancer but are diagnosed with peritoneal cancer. 

Furthermore, when cancer journeys to the peritoneum from primary sources like the ovaries or even rarer origins such as mesothelioma, it's labeled advanced (stage IV) or peritoneal carcinomatosis. This signifies its aggressive nature, demanding urgent attention and specialized care. 
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When should I contact my healthcare provider about peritoneal cancer?

Early detection of peritoneal cancer greatly improves treatment outcomes. Symptoms like unexplained weight loss, persistent abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and changes in bowel habits are red flags that shouldn't be ignored. If you or a loved one are experiencing these signs, it's crucial to seek medical advice promptly.
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Types of peritoneal cancer, symptoms and treatment options

  • What are the types of peritoneal cancer?

    Understanding the types of peritoneal cancer can empower you to seek the right treatment and support:

    • Primary peritoneal cancer: Primary peritoneal cancer is a specific cancer type that is nearly identical to ovarian cancer, but originates from the peritoneum, the delicate lining of the abdominal wall.
    • Secondary peritoneal cancer (or peritoneal carcinomatosis): Peritoneal carcinomatosis can be seen with primary peritoneal cancer, ovarian cancer or any other type of cancer and refers to the finding of diffuse peritoneal disease at the time of surgery.
  • What are the symptoms of peritoneal cancer?

    In the early stages, peritoneal cancer often remains asymptomatic. However, as the disease advances, the following symptoms may manifest:

    • Abdominal swelling
    • Diffuse abdominal pain
    • Increased frequency of urination
    • Feeling full quickly while eating
    • Changes in bowel habits, especially constipation
    • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
    • Presence of an abdominal mass
    • Unintended weight loss

    As the disease progresses further, complications can arise: 
    • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, leading to discomfort, nausea, vomiting and breathlessness
    • Fatigue
    • Bowel obstructions that might require surgical intervention
    • Urinary tract obstructions due to tumor growth, potentially requiring medical interventions such as stents
  • Treatment options for peritoneal cancer at Nuvance Health

    The treatment plan for peritoneal cancer is contingent upon the tumor type and its progression. The standard of care includes chemotherapy and surgery and occasionally can include HIPEC. Some potential treatments include:

    • Cytoreduction and HIPEC: A revolutionary combination of surgery and chemotherapy. After removing the tumor (cytoreduction), a heated chemotherapy "bath" (HIPEC) is applied directly into the abdominal cavity. This method has proven effective for various cancers, including pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), mucinous adenocarcinoma (MAC) of the appendix and peritoneal mesothelioma.
    • Chemotherapy: Depending on the tumor type, intravenous or oral chemotherapy might be necessary before or after surgery.
    • Additional therapies:
      • Targeted therapy for advanced primary peritoneal carcinoma
      • Hormonal therapy combined with chemotherapy
      • Radiation therapy for advanced or recurrent cases

Why Choose Us?

Journey to recovery with tailored care just for you.

At Nuvance Health®, we believe in creating personal connections. We're not just another medical facility; we're your compassionate partner on this journey. From early detection to innovative treatments, our approach is molded around your unique needs and concerns. Standing by your side, we put your health and well-being at the forefront. Let's face this together.
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