Peritoneal Cancer


Peritoneal Cancer

The peritoneum is a thin layer of membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers many organs. Peritoneal cancer is usually caused by exposure to asbestos and is therefore more common in people who work with asbestos. In some cases, peritoneal cancer can develop without exposure to asbestos.

The symptoms of peritoneal cancer can vary depending on the progression of the disease and the spread of the cancer. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

Since these symptoms can also be seen in other abdominal diseases, you should consult a doctor and have the necessary tests for diagnosis.

Different cancer types exist in our world, while some are known as common and some are rare forms. Peritoneal cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs around the peritoneum - a tissue that covers most of our abdominal organs (tummy organs) along with the abdominal cavity. 

Generally, peritoneal cancer is confused with ovarian cancer since peritoneal cancer may affect the closer abdominal organs.

In this article, we will give a closer look at peritoneal cancer, treatment options, information in general, and more.

Types of Peritoneal Cancer

Peritoneal cancer can occur in different places and in different forms around the abdomen. And they can be listed as:

  • Ovarian Cancer: Even though peritoneal cancer is mostly confused with ovarian cancer, ovarian cancer may lead to peritoneal cancer and can also do metastasis to the ovaries.
  • Gastric Cancer: Gastric cancer or stomach cancer may spread to the peritoneum, and is considered an advanced stage of cancer.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma: It indicates the cancerous cells lining the peritoneum area of the abdomen, considered a rare form of cancer and diagnosis generally happens in the advanced stage. Peritoneal mesothelioma may occur when the patient experiences the high-exposure to asbestos.

Causes of Peritoneal Cancer

The exact causes of cancer are unknown, and it goes same with the peritoneal cancer. However, some factors may increase the risk of this type of cancer including:

  • Previous history of cancer: Peritoneal cancer generally occurs in the spread of cancer from near organs - they are mostly gastric, ovarian, pancreatic cancer, etc.
  • Asbestos exposure: Inhalation of asbestos increases the risk of peritoneal cancer. In addition to asbestos, being exposed to certain harmful chemicals may increase the risk factors.

Symptoms of Peritoneal Cancer: Early Detection and Diagnosis

The symptoms of peritoneal cancer differ from patient to patient, and early detection and diagnosis may be challenging since peritoneal cancer is considered asymptomatic in the early stages. 

  • Discomfort or pain around the abdomen (tummy): The constant discomfort and pain such as cramping may be a symptom, and can worsen while moving.
  • Sudden changes in the digestive system: When bowel habits are affected by peritoneal cancer, the situations such as constant diarrhea occurs.
  • Loss of appetite: Along with the early satiety, loss of appetite and vomiting can be seen.

Treatment Options for Peritoneal Cancer

The treatment options for peritoneal cancer depend on different factors such as the type and stage, spreading, patient’s health, and overall shape. Common treatment options for peritoneal cancer include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is the first option for peritoneal cancer to remove a tumor from the affected area. Some combined surgeries can be applied along with the help of different healthcare professionals from various areas.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is applied to kill malignant cancerous cells. Different forms of chemotherapy can be used since the course of the disease differs in every case.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy means drugs that target certain cells, molecules, or ways that help cancer cells to grow and spread. The targeted therapy can be combined with other treatment options.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ogün ErşenDate of birth 10.11.1987 Education and Expertise Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine Kocatepe University Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Konya Health Sciences University Professional Interests: Obesity (fatness) surgery and metabolic surgery Laparoscopic reflux surgery Laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries Gastric balloon application ERCP, EMR, ESD (Advanced Endoscopic procedures) Laparoscopic pancreatic cancer surgery Laparoscopic gastric and intestinal cancer surgeries Hemorrhoid surgeries Perianal fistula surgeries Laparoscopic abdominal and inguinal hernia surgeries Oncoplastic Breast cancer surgeries Natural cancer surgery (NOSE) Thyroid cancer and goiter surgeries. Memberships to Scientific Organizations Turkish Surgery Association Turkish Obesity Surgery Association Surgical Oncology Association National Society of Endoscopic Laparoscopic Surgery He is a member of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Association. Courses and Certificates: Turkish surgical association proficiency exam (Board) certificate of achievement in 2018 He has more than 100 papers presented in national and international congresses and more than 50 articles published in international journals. Foreign language English
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