Peritoneal cancer is a very rare cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers the abdomen, uterus, bladder and the rectum. It produces a fluid that helps the organs in the stomach to move easily. It can get confused with stomach cancer, but it is not the same thing. Cancer peritoneal is often confused with ovarian cancer because the ovaries have the same cells as the peritoneum. Even though they are alike, you can still have peritoneal cancer and no longer have your ovaries.
Cancer peritoneal can be very hard to detect. It does not present many symptoms, and they do tend to be very vague. When symptoms are finally clearer, it has become advanced or has grown. The symptoms can be the same as they are for ovarian cancer. Some of the cancer peritoneal symptoms can include pain in the abdomen, felling full after eating a light meal, nausea or vomiting, constipation or diarrhea or both, having to pee frequently, no appetite, weight loss or gain from bloating and vaginal bleeding that is not during your period or after menopause. These are all signs that something is not right, and you need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will probably want to run some tests and perform an exam.
One of the tests that he will likely do is a blood test to check for the CA-125 chemical in your blood. If it is high, this could be a sign of peritoneal cancer. Your doctor may also order a ct scan and a biopsy. If you do have cancer, treatment will depend on a couple of different things to include the stage of the cancer and the grade, size and location of the cancer. Your age and your overall health condition are also important.
Surgery is almost always the first choice of treatment to help not only the diagnosis but to remove tumors to allow the doctor to tell what stage the cancer is in. Your regular doctor should not do the surgery; it should be done by a gynecologic oncologist. Many of the same drugs used to treat ovarian cancer are also used to treat peritoneal cancer. Since moany to the cases of cancer peritoneal are in the advanced stages, it is often recommended that more than one round of chemotherapy treatment be done. There is a very high chance that your cancer will come back and has usually spread. If this happens, you will more than likely need more surgery and the cancer will more than likely spread. You will have to undergo more treatments if this happens.
Tips and comments
If you do have cancer peritoneal, you should find a support group to join. Talking to others that are going through the same thing can help to keep your spirits up, and you will have others that understand how you feel. This can help to keep your spirits up and realize that you do not have to fight this fight alone. Having family around will also help, but having a special group of females who are facing the same thing as you can help you even more.