It is one of the rare forms of cancer that forms in the epithelial cells that line the abdominal wall. The name of this lining is peritoneum.
The peritoneum protects the following organs in abdomen by covering them:
Following are the symptoms of peritoneal cancer:
CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasound are the imaging tests that are used to detect cancer.
Biopsy is one of the trusted and effective techniques in diagnosing any form of cancer; most doctors will ask patients to get it done.
Blood tests done to detect chemicals that may be elevated in peritoneal cancer, such as CA 125, a chemical made by tumor cells are also suggested.
There are non-surgical treatments like chemotherapy, where a combination of chemicals are used to act upon and kill the cancer cells.
Monoclonal antibody treatment in which the antibodies target the cancer cells which are responsible for cancer growth and kill them.
Use of PARP (poly-ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitors that block DNA repair.
Angiogenesis inhibitors are used to prevent blood vessel growth in tumors.
The doctor will advise a full physical examination before the surgery, to check for any other complication that needs to be addressed before surgery.
The surgery encompasses the following
Hysterectomy – removal of the uterus
Oophorectomy -removal of the fallopian tube and ovaries
Omentum – removal of a layer of fatty tissue near the ovaries
There are two approaches to remove the tumor, a minimally invasive approach and an open procedure. Depending upon the condition of the individual the surgeon opts for which one to employ.
The surgery is carried out under the influence of general anesthesia. In an open approach the surgeon makes an incision in the middle region of the abdomen, moving the other tissues and muscles aside. Once the tumor is visible surgical instruments go in and the tumor is removed.
In a Laparoscopic approach, once the patient is asleep the process begins by making incisions near the belly button and a small device is inserted which is called a port; it creates an opening that will used be filled with gas (carbon dioxide) in the abdomen region.
Through these incisions a Laparoscope (a Laparoscope is a small instrument with a narrow tube which has light source and camera at the end of the tube) is inserted and using the Laparoscope’s video camera the surgeon is able to locate the affected body part and through the other incisions that are made the damaged/affected (tumor) part is removed with the help of surgical equipment; after this the incisions are sealed using a surgical glue or staples.
The recovery time for Laparoscopic surgeries is very less and one can return to normal life within days of surgery, but they should avoid heavy lifting. The soreness after the surgery lasts for 48 hours and it can extend up to weeks depending upon the individual. If it’s an open procedure it will take longer for the patient to recover.
For a few weeks after the surgery the patient has to be in a highly sanitized area because he is susceptible to infections.
The patient will be discharged from the hospital in 6 to 8 days after the laparoscopic procedure and if it’s an open procedure the call to discharge will be taken by the doctor based on the condition of the patient.
If the pain in the incisional area persists the doctor will advise bed rest for a week.
One might feel nauseated post-surgery, this might be due to anesthesia administered for the purpose of the surgery.
Post-surgery one might feel shoulder pain because of the gas that was pumped in during the surgery, which will go away within 48 hours.
If one feels nauseated, develops fever, bleeding occurs through the incisions, inability to urinate, vaginal discharge etc. under these circumstances it is better to get in touch with the doctor who performed the operation.