Peritoneal Cancer: Overview, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
The rare type of cancers which starts in the peritoneum is called the Primary peritoneal cancer (PPC).
The peritoneum is the membrane which lines the inside of the abdomen and also all the organs in the abdomen.
The organs in the abdomen include the stomach, intestines and the liver.
It is said that the primary peritoneal cancer can start in any part of this membrane. The lower part of the abdomen (pelvis) is found to be the most affected. This disease is very rare in men.
The most common type of peritoneal cancer is the one that occurs in the ovaries. The rarest form is the mesothelioma peritoneal cancer which affects the lining of the abdomen.
Causes of Peritoneal Cancer
The exact cause of primary peritoneal cancer (PPC) is unknown. Certain risk factor such as age is estimated to increase the chance of developing the disease. In some cases this cancer is predicted to be due to the genetic factor although no evidence is available.
People who have a family history of developing the disease should be well monitored from time to time in order to avoid any chances of developing this cancer.
Peritoneal Cancer Symptoms
The peritoneal cancer is unpredictable in its initial stage as it shows no symptoms. In the later stage this cancer may show symptoms like the poor appetite or loss of appetite, severe indigestion problems, feeling sick, unintentional and unexplained loss of weight, swelling in the abdomen, and sometimes pain may also persist in the abdominal area
Also frequent urination, change in bowel habits, constipation and diarrhea may also be the predictable symptoms of primary peritoneal cancer.
These symptoms may be caused by any other problems as well therefore it is important to check with the doctor for confirmation of the disease at the earliest without any negligence.
Peritoneal Cancer Treatment
The peritoneal cancer treatment methods available are the surgery, radiotherapy and the chemotherapy. The surgery is usually performed in cases where there is a possibility of removal the cancer as much as possible.
This can be extensively used to remove the womb, ovaries, the omentum which is the sheet of fatty tissue inside the abdomen and the entire tumor which can be removed by surgery.
Chemotherapy involves the use of anti cancer drugs. Mostly a combination of drugs is given after the surgery to kill the cancer cells if any left behind.
If surgery is not possible in some cases first the chemotherapy is administered to shrink the tumor or kill the cancer cells. This may help to remove the tumor by surgery later.
Radiotherapy treats primary peritoneal cancer by using high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. All care is taken to restrict the radiotherapy to the diseased area so that the healthy normal cells are less affected by the radiation.
This method of primary peritoneal cancer treatment is used in cases where the cancer has comeback even after the surgery or chemotherapy has been performed.