Peritoneal cancer symptoms

What Is Peritoneal Carcinomatosis?








Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a rare cancer that affects the peritoneum, which is the thin membrane that surrounds your abdominal organs. It might be difficult to learn that you or a loved one has it, but knowing what to expect can help you feel more in control.

Peritoneal carcinomatosis occurs when other abdominal cancers expand to the peritoneum, resulting in a proliferation of new tumors on the membrane’s surface. Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a sign that your abdominal cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. Primary peritoneal carcinomatosis, which develops in the peritoneum itself, is also very rare. These situations are most common in women who are at a high risk of ovarian cancer.

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Symptoms of Peritoneal Cancer

Peritoneal cancer, like ovarian cancer, can be difficult to detect in its early stages. This is due to the fact that its symptoms are hazy and difficult to pinpoint. The disease has usually progressed by the time apparent symptoms appear. The symptoms will thereafter be similar to those of ovarian cancer. Many of these symptoms are caused by a buildup of fluid in the abdomen (ascites). Symptoms of peritoneal carcinoma include:

    • Gas, indigestion, pressure, swelling, bloating, or cramps can cause abdominal discomfort or pain.
    • Even after a light meal, a feeling of satiety
    • Diarrhea or nausea
    • Constipation
    • Urination on a regular basis
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight gain or reduction that isn’t explained
    • Vaginal bleeding that isn’t normal
    • Rectal bleeding








  • Breathing problems

As the cancer advances, a watery fluid called ascites can build up in the abdominal cavity, causing:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach pain
  • fatigue

Late-stage peritoneal carcinoma symptoms include:

 

  • complete bowel or urinary blockage
  • stomach pain
  • inability to eat or drink
  • vomiting

Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Risk Factors

Because peritoneal carcinomatosis is most commonly caused by the spread of other malignancies, having other advanced cancers, such as:

  • Appendix cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Gastric cancer

Women are virtually often diagnosed with primary peritoneal carcinomatosis. Other risk factors for primary peritoneal carcinomatosis, aside from gender, include:

  • Age
  • Ovarian or peritoneal cancer in the family
  • BRCA genetic mutations
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Obesity
  • Endometriosis

Peritoneal Cancer Diagnosis
Aside from asking about your symptoms, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam, which will include looking for anomalies in the following areas:

  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Stomach
  • Bladder
  • Colon and rectum

You may be subjected to the following tests:

Ultrasound. A sonogram is a picture created by high-frequency sound waves.

CA-125  blood test. This test examines the amount of a substance called CA-125 in the blood. Peritoneal or ovarian cancer may be present if levels are high. CA-125, on the other hand, can be elevated for a variety of reasons. As a result, this test cannot confirm a cancer diagnosis.



CT scan is a type of x-ray. A computer connected to an X-ray equipment creates detailed images of the inside of the human body.

Lower GI series or a barium enema. You will initially be given an enema containing a white, chalky fluid known as barium. On an X-ray, this shows the colon and rectum. It enables the detection of some cancers and other issues.

Upper GI series. The series of the upper gastrointestinal tract. The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) are all delineated on an X-ray using this examination.

Biopsy. During a laparotomy, a surgeon removes tissue by opening the abdomen or introducing tools via small holes in the abdomen (laparoscopy). If the doctor detects cancer, one or more organs may be removed. To confirm a cancer diagnosis, a pathologist examines the tissue sample under a microscope.

Paracentesis. If surgery is not an option or if the ascites is caused by something else, the doctor may extract the fluid and examine it under a microscope. This is referred to as paracentesis.

Under a microscope, ovarian and peritoneal malignancies appear to be the same. As a result, the pattern and location of any tumors can assist determine the type of cancer present.

Treatments for Peritoneal Cancer

Peritoneal carcinoma may require more than one sort of treatment. The sort of treatment you receive is determined by the following factors:

  • The cancer’s stage and severity
  • The cancer’s size and location
  • Your general health and age
  • Peritoneal carcinoma treatment options include:

Surgery. Not only does surgery aid in diagnosis. It may also be used to remove cancers. A surgeon removes all visible cancer to stage and treat this cancer. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus may also be removed by the surgeon. Other tissue and organs may be removed depending on what is discovered. It is critical that this procedure be performed by a gynecologic oncologist. These doctors are more experienced with gynecologic cancers and have a higher success rate.



Chemotherapy. Peritoneal cancer is treated with medications that are similar to those used to treat ovarian cancer. You can get these medications as an outpatient injection every one, two, or three weeks. Chemotherapy is sometimes injected directly into the abdomen via a catheter inserted under the skin after surgery. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is the term for this type of treatment. You’ll get it every three weeks as well, but it’s a more complicated treatment cycle.

HIPEC is an acronym for High-Intensity (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy). Following surgery, hot chemotherapy is injected into the peritoneum. Peritoneal cancer that has progressed from the appendix, colon, or stomach is commonly treated with this approach.

Palliative care. Palliative care is a term that refers to the treatment of patients who are Peritoneal carcinoma is frequently diagnosed in advanced stages by doctors. Pain, weight loss, and fluid buildup are all symptoms of peritoneal cancer that can be relieved with supportive therapy.

For some advanced primary peritoneal malignancies, additional therapies such as targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and radiation therapy may be employed.

What to Expect From Peritoneal Cancer Prognosis

The prognosis for primary peritoneal cancer is better if all malignancy is removed and you are treated by a gynecologic surgeon and oncologist. These specialists specialize in gynecologic malignancies.



Following treatment, your doctors will keep a careful eye on you. Because the peritoneum is densely packed with lymph and blood, peritoneal cancer can spread swiftly. Peritoneal carcinoma frequently recurs after treatment. This is due to the fact that this cancer is frequently identified at an advanced stage. Chemotherapy or other operations may be required more than once.

As you go through therapy and recovery, make sure you seek out support for yourself.

What’s the outlook?
Because of breakthroughs in treatment, the outlook for persons with primary or secondary peritoneal cancer has substantially improved in recent decades, but it is still bleak. This is mostly due to the fact that peritoneal cancer is rarely detected until it has progressed to an advanced stage. In addition, the cancer may come back following treatment.

Symptoms are difficult to specify, but if any of the general symptoms persist, consult your doctor. A better outcome is achieved with earlier diagnosis.

Mayo Clinic

Peritoneal cancer symptoms

Peritoneal cancer symptoms

Peritoneal cancer symptoms