The causes, symptoms and treatment of peritoneal cancer

Peritoneal cancer is a form of cancer that is usually accompanied by tumors elsewhere in the body. Metastases from these tumors – which usually occur in the abdominal cavity – have ended up in the peritoneum and have nested here. Peritoneal cancer is the result. Read the causes, symptoms and treatment methods of peritoneal cancer below.

About peritoneal cancer

Peritoneal cancer means that there are cancer cells on the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a membrane that covers all abdominal organs. Peritoneal cancer is rare. Peritoneal cancer usually arises from metastases from elsewhere in the body. If the diagnosis of peritoneal cancer is made, the chance of recovery is therefore not very high.


Peritoneal cancer is caused by cancer cells spreading across the abdominal cavity and attaching to the peritoneum. The cancer cells can end up here in different ways. The patient may have a tumor somewhere in the abdominal cavity. This could be colon cancer or ovarian cancer. The cells may become detached and settle in the peritoneum. It can also prevent the cancer cells from entering the abdominal cavity via lymphatic vessels and blood vessels from other organs and tissues. Because the condition is mainly caused by a tumor in the stomach, small or large intestine or in women in the ovaries or in the uterus, it is necessary to discover the original cause of peritoneal cancer.


The symptoms of peritoneal cancer are not very easy to detect. An indication may be that the person’s weight increases rapidly, or that the person develops a tight, distended abdomen. This is the result of ascites. Ascites stands for fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. Every person has a small amount of fluid in the abdominal cavity. This fluid is necessary so that the parts of the small intestine slide smoothly past each other. There is a constant moisture balance, because moisture is absorbed and new moisture is produced. This fluid balance can become disturbed if less fluid is absorbed and the production of fluid in the abdominal cavity continues. The presence of tumor hairs in the peritoneum can reduce fluid absorption, because fluid is absorbed in the peritoneum. Ascites is the result.Obstruction in the intestines may also occur. This means that stool remains stuck in the small intestine. The small intestine is very tortuous. The presence of cancer cells can cause parts of the small intestine to stick together. They therefore lose their flexibility. This may be accompanied by the development of kinks in the loops of the small intestine. The small intestine can become pinched, resulting in abdominal cramps, nausea, a swollen stomach and impaired bowel movements.


The treatment is highly dependent on the cause of the peritoneal cancer. Unfortunately, curative treatment for peritoneal cancer is only possible in few cases. The presence of peritoneal cancer often also means the presence of metastases elsewhere in the body. Chemotherapy then works in rare cases. If the cancer is almost exclusively confined to the peritoneum, surgery may be considered. One can decide to apply the HIPEC procedure.First of all, the original tumor is removed. This tumor is the cause of peritoneal cancer. Heated chemotherapy is then administered into the abdominal cavity. The aim of this is to kill the cancer cells. Because the chemotherapy is heated, cancer cells will die sooner. Cancer cells are more sensitive to heat treatments.

Related Posts