Primary Peritoneal Cancer is a rare form of cancer (also known as peritoneal adenocarcinoma) that originates in the peritoneum, a thin sheet of fine lines inside the abdomen and covers the uterus and extends over the bladder and rectum. The peritoneum is comprised of epithelial cells. By producing a lubricating fluid, peritoneum, this helps organs move smoothly in the pelvic cavity. Primary peritoneal cancer looks and behaves like ovarian cancer but the ovaries are minimally involved. Women who develop symptoms of ovarian cancer unfortunately will probably end up with primary peritoneal cancer.
Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant cells are found in the ovary. There are three types of ovarian tumors: epithelial cells, germ cells and the stromal cells. The cause of ovarian cancer is unknown but there are certain risk factors that indicate an increased likelihood of a woman in developing ovarian cancer metastasis. A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a disease. The following have been proposed as risk factors for ovarian cancer:
- Early menstruation – starting periods at an early age usually before age 12
- Late menopause (after 52 years of age)
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Infertility (inability to get pregnant)
- Having a first child after age 30
- Personal history of breast cancer or colon cancer
- Family history of ovarian cancer
- Some fertility drugs
- Exposure to asbestos development into mesothelioma tumor which affects the abdominal cavity.
The diagnosis of primary peritoneal cancer consists of the following different exams:
- Pelvic Exam
- Determination of CA-125 (a blood test to measure the level of CA-125 CA-125 is a protein also known as a tumor marker that is often found in greater concentrations in the blood of women suffering from ovarian cancer or cancer peritoneal)
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Lower GI or barium enema (a series of X-rays of the colon and rectum. abnormal areas easier to see and detect)
The treatment for Primary Peritoneal Cancer depends on several factors, including: the stage of the cancer, the amount of it and the patients overall health. The treatment is a combination of the following methods; surgery, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, supportive care (which is directed to the symptoms, including pain relief, weight loss and fluid in the abdomen, which can be removed during a procedure called abdominal paracentesis)
Finally we have the preventive measures recommended by doctors that include: a healthy diet (high in fruits, vegetables, grains and low in saturated fats), birth control pills, pregnancy and lactation and eventually if the person is presenting some symptoms of ovarian cancer the removal of the ovaries. Also studies have shown that certain genes are responsible for increasing the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. A routine inspection for gynecological cancers can prevent or diagnose at an early stage the presence of tumors. Your doctor will eventually decide what treatments to carry out to help fight primary peritoneal cancer.