Peritoneal Cancer is a rare form of cancer. It forms a thin layer of tissue in the abdomen, which lines that region. It covers the parts like uterus, gallbladder, and rectum. The structure is called the peritoneum which is made of epithelial cells. For the organs to move freely inside the abdomen, the peritoneum produces fluid.
This cancer is different from intestinal cancer or the general type of cancer which tends to spread.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Cancer:
This cancer is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. There are a few clear symptoms which appear when the cancer comes to its advance level. These symptoms are as follows:
Difficulty in breathing
Sudden weight gain or loss
Bleeding from the abdominal area like vagina and rectum
Gut health problems
The Management of Peritoneal cancer is a step by step process. It starts with recognising the symptoms. After that, a patient should consult a doctor for diagnosis. And in the end, the treatment begins according to the diagnosis and other factors.
How to Diagnose Peritoneal Cancer?
Before advising any treatment, doctors must diagnose a patient. This will help determine the best suited treatment for a particular patient depending upon the condition of the cancer.
Ultrasound: In this process, it takes a picture of the abdominal area with the help of high-frequency sound waves. It helps in detecting the cancer.
Biopsy: In this process, a small tissue of the affected area is taken and is studied under a microscope. It helps in confirming the presence of cancer cells.
Paracentesis: In this process, the fluid produced by peritoneum is tested under a microscope, to detect the presence of a tumor in the fluid.
Treatment of Peritoneal Cancer:
Different treatments are suggested at different stages of cancer. There are a few other factors which are considered before treatment such as:
Stage of cancer
Location and size
Age and health of the patient
There are multiple treatment options available that can be opted further to treat cancer:
The treatment removes the tumor altogether. Sometimes organs which are affected by the cancer including ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are also removed to prevent harm to cancer. The surgery is often performed by gynecologic oncologists as they are familiar with the process. And, they have a higher success rate.
In this process, the drug is given to the patient on the basis of how infected the patient is with cancer. According to the severity, it is given once a week or once every two to three weeks. The drug is directly injected into the affected area by a catheter. Catheter is placed inside the skin while the patient goes through surgery.
More than a treatment, it is a caring technique for patients with advanced cancer stage. In this process, patients' overall health is taken into consideration. Palliative care helps patients to fight symptoms of cancer which include abdominal pain, weight loss, and extra fluid formation.
Other Crucial Surgeries:
CRS (cytoreductive surgery) and HIPEC (hyperthermic intra peritoneal chemotherapy) are also very effective surgical options to cure peritoneal cancer. These methods are being used widely to get rid of this life threatening problem.
There are many treatments available for Peritoneal Cancer. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before opting for any treatment as it depends upon the stage and condition of cancer.