A type of rare cancer that develops in the thin layer of epidermal cells lining the inside wall of the abdomen is peritoneal cancer. The name of the lining is the peritoneum. It protects and covers the organs present in the abdomen, which includes intestines, bladder, rectum and uterus. To allow easy movement of the organs inside the abdomen, the peritoneum produces a lubricating fluid. The diagnosis of peritoneal cancer is often possible at a later stage as the symptoms often go undetected at an early stage. The treatment by an oncologist in Kolkata is different for every case of peritoneal cancer. There are primary and secondary peritoneal cancers.

Primary

The peritoneum is the place where primary peritoneal cancer begins.

Secondary

When peritoneal cancer normally begins in another organ in the abdomen and spreads to the peritoneum, it is secondary peritoneal cancer.

Symptoms

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, the symptoms vary. There may often be no symptoms in the early stage.

The following are a few symptoms of peritoneal cancer.

  •         Distended abdomen
  •         Abdominal bloating or pain
  •         Feeling full even after eating a small amount
  •         Feeling of pressure in the abdomen or pelvis
  •         Nausea or vomiting
  •         Indigestion
  •         Loss of appetite
  •         Changes in bowel or urinary habits
  •         Loss of weight or gaining weight
  •         Fatigue
  •         Back pain

Consulting a cancer specialist in Kolkata is must when you have these symptoms.

There is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity as cancer progresses. This often causes:

  •         Shortness of breath
  •         Nausea or vomiting
  •         Fatigue
  •         Pain in the stomach

Late-stage peritoneal cancer causes the following symptoms:

  •         Complete bowel or urinary blockage
  •         Inability to eat or drink
  •         Vomiting
  •         Pain in the abdomen

Diagnosis 

During surgery for removing a tumour in the abdomen, peritoneal cancer is often detected. A cancer doctor in Kolkata will check your medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam. He/she will also ask you about your symptoms. You may need to undergo the following tests:

  •         Imaging tests
  •         Laparoscopy or laparotomy
  •         Biopsy
  •         Blood tests

Treatment 

The various treatment options are:

Surgery 

Cytoreductive Surgery 

Cytoreduction is a procedure that aims for the complete removal of all visible tumours affecting the protective lining of the abdomen. The cytoreductive procedure itself is complex and can last for any duration from 10 to 12 hours.

According to Dr. Paul Sugarbaker, the developer of cytoreduction with HIPEC, there are up to 5 surgical procedures surgeons may have to combine to achieve the complete removal of peritoneal mesothelioma.

The five procedures include:

  1. Anterior parietal peritonectomy: This surgery removes the diseased fat pad in the front of the stomach. It can also be used to remove scar tissue from old abdominal surgeries.
  2. Left upper quadrant peritonectomy: Removes the greater omentum (the largest fold of the inner peritoneum) and spleen.
  3. Right upper quadrant peritonectomy: Removes tumour growth on the liver.
  4. Pelvic peritonectomy: Removes parts of the uterus, ovaries or large intestine.
  5. Omental bursectomy: Removes parts of the gall bladder and part of the peritoneum between the stomach and liver.

Chemotherapy 

To shrink the tumour before the surgery, the doctor may use chemotherapy. It may also help to kill any cancer cells that remain after the surgery.

Targeted therapy 

The use of targeted therapy is also common in many cases.