Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

Peritoneal Carcinomatosis is a type of cancer that occurs in the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a thin membrane that covers most abdominal organs and lines the abdominal cavity. When cancer spreads from the bowel or rectum and grows in the lining of the abdomen this is called Peritoneal Carcinomatosis.

Terms used for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

  • Metastatic or Metastases: The spread of cancer from one organ or part of the body to another.
  • Peritoneal Surface Malignancy: A variety of cancers that involve the peritoneum.
  • Ascites: The buildup of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.
  • Cytoreduction Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC): Surgical technique used in the treatment of some cases of peritoneal carcinomatosis.

There are multiple ways in which Peritoneal Carcinomatosis can be diagnosed. If your doctor suspects that you have Peritoneal Carcinomatosis they may order blood tests, additional imaging, a biopsy, or a combination of these.

Your doctor may plan for you to have any of the following to confirm a diagnosis:

  • CT scan (short for Computerized Tomography scan: Takes pictures of the inside of the body using x-rays taken from different angles. A computer combines these images into a detailed, cross-sectional view 3-dimensional or 3-D that shows any abnormalities or tumors. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than X-rays do.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other tests can suggest that cancer is present, but only a biopsy can make a definite diagnosis. A pathologist then analyzes the sample(s). A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in interpreting laboratory tests and evaluating cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose disease.

In cancer care, different types of doctors often work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and others.

Your team will work with you to create the best personalized care plan based on your situation. This may include any of the following:

  • Updated imaging: This could include repeat CT scans or other forms of imaging if current imaging is outdated.
  • Pathology review: If you had a previous surgery or biopsy at another hospital, we may ask for a sample of this tissue to be sent to Mount Sinai Hospital for review by one of our pathologists to confirm your diagnosis.
  • Surveillance: Patients who have had most or all of their cancer removed. CT scans will be done on a schedule set by your surgeon for monitoring.
  • Systemic chemotherapy: This type of chemotherapy gets into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. This can be done using an intravenous (IV) tube, which is a tube placed into a vein using a needle or in a pill that is swallowed (orally). This may be recommended if surgery is not possible or as a first step before surgery.
  • Laparoscopy: An operation where small incisions are made in the abdomen and a camera is inserted to look inside to assess the amount of disease.
  • Cytoreductive Surgery with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (CRS with HIPEC): This is a very specialized surgical technique used in the treatment of some cases of cancers. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is chemotherapy that is given directly into the abdominal cavity. Typically, the surgeon will try to remove as much of the tumor as possible and then insert a tube in the abdomen through which chemotherapy can be given after the operation. The chemotherapy is warmed above body temperature to increase its ability to penetrate the tissue that may be lined with tumor cells; this is called hyperthermic (or heated) intraperitoneal chemotherapy (referred to as HIPEC). Once chemotherapy is completed, the tube is removed. Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the few centres in Canada that offers this treatment.

Related Topics