Primary peritoneal cancer or PPC is a rare cancer of the peritoneum (it is a serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity or coelom). It is very similar to the most common type of ovarian cancer known as epithelial cancer.
What is Peritoneal Cancer?
Peritoneal cancer is a rare type of cancer which is developed in a thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen. The thin layer covers the uterus, rectum, and bladder. It is made of epithelial cells, this structure is called the peritoneum. It produces a fluid that helps the organs move smoothly inside the abdomen part.
The cancer is not the same as stomach or intestinal cancer. Nor is it to be associated with cancers that spread (metastasize) to the peritoneum.
Basically, peritoneal cancer starts in the peritoneum so it is called primary peritoneal cancer.
What are the Symptoms of Peritoneal Cancer?
There are several symptoms of peritoneal cancer including;
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick (nausea) and bloated
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Rectal bleeding
What are the Causes of Peritoneal Cancer?
The main causes of cancer are unknown. Most of the cancers are caused due to a number of different factors working together.
Several studies suggest that a very small number of the cancer cell may be linked to the inherited faulty genes such as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.
These are the same genes that increase the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
How Peritoneal Cancer Diagnosis?
The cancer diagnosis through the following tests including;
- Blood test
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan
- Lower Gastrointestinal (GI) series or barium enema
- Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) series
What are the Treatments for Peritoneal Cancer?
There are several types of treatment for cancer but the treatment basically depends upon;
- The stage and grade of cancer.
- Age and overall health.
- The size and location of cancer.
Treatments for peritoneal cancer include:
Surgery is the first treatment for carcinoma. The different types of surgery include;
- Removing the uterus from both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Removing as much of cancer as possible through surgical debulking.
Chemotherapy is the process of treating the primary peritoneal carcinoma, given after the surgery with cisplatin or carboplatin along with docetaxel or paclitaxel. Carboplatin and paclitaxel is the most common chemotherapy that is most often used.
Sometimes chemotherapy is given before the debulking surgery. If cancer shrinks from the chemotherapy then surgery can be done to remove as much cancer as possible.
Targeted therapy is used for treating some advanced carcinoma. Sometimes a targeted therapy drug is combined with a chemotherapy drug to treat the symptoms of peritoneal cancer.
Radiation therapy is used for the treatment of advanced primary peritoneal carcinoma.
As we all know that peritoneal cancer is as common as the breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Cancer can be easily treated with early diagnosis.
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