Peritoneal Cancer Treatments

Treatments for Peritoneal Cancer

Diagnosis of peritoneal cancer requires a thorough evaluation of the symptoms, physical examination and a number of diagnostic tests. Physicians usually examine the pelvic region of the body to look for any abnormality of the ovaries, uterus, vagina, bladder, fallopian tubes, and rectum. The different tests and examinations that are performed include ultrasound, CT scan, blood test to measure the level of CA-125 (an antigen that is at an elevated level in case of certain types of cancers), barium enema or lower gastrointestinal series test and biopsy.

The common treatment for primary peritoneal cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of all three. The treatment plan is devised only after successful detection of the cancer and due to the vague symptoms this cancer exhibits, it can only be detected in the later stages, either at stage 3 which means it has developed in the inner lining of abdomen or stage 4 which means that it has spread to other organs such as lungs, liver,or distant lymph nodes in the body.

Surgery is performed when there is a pelvic mass, and when the place from where the cancer developed initially is not very clear. Chemotherapy can inhibit the growth and development of cancerous cells through medication. These medications are usually given after surgery, especially when it is not possible for removing all the malignant tumors. However, sometimes, chemotherapy can precede surgery, when it is felt that the tumor is too large and hence, quite difficult to remove. Occasionally, radiotherapy is also carried out to destroy the cancerous cells with the help of radiation.