Being diagnosed with peritoneal metastasis can understandably be terrifying. You likely have a lot of questions such as what is it and what treatments are available?
Unlike many other types of cancer, chemotherapy isn’t typically effective at treating peritoneal metastasis. So, what are your options if you are trying to combat this form of abdominal cancer? Find out everything you need to know about peritoneal metastasis and its treatment options below.
What is peritoneal metastasis?
Also known as Peritoneal cancer, Peritoneal metastasis is diagnosed when cancer has spread to the peritoneum. By this stage, the cancer is typically quite advanced, with most cases diagnosed at Stage IV. It is extremely rare for cancer to begin directly in the peritoneum. When this occurs, it is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Patients with colorectal, gastric, or ovarian cancer are most at risk of developing Peritoneal Metastasis.
What are the treatment options?
While the cancer is usually in an advanced stage when Peritoneal metastasis is diagnosed, treatment can still be effective. One of the best treatments is a combination of Cytoreduction surgery and HIPEC. So, what are these treatments and what do they involve?
Cytoreduction is a surgical procedure that aims to remove as much of the cancerous tumour, or tumours, as possible. In some cases, affected organs or the peritoneum lining may need to be removed. The procedure is quite complex and can take many hours to perform. For this reason, it should only be carried out by a specialist.
Cytoreduction is combined with HIPEC cancer treatment for best results. When used alongside HIPEC, it can greatly enhance life expectancy, while also reducing the risk the cancer will reoccur.
HIPEC stands for Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy. It is performed after Cytoreduction surgery and involves pumping heated chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity. Compared to traditional chemotherapy, HIPEC can provide highly concentrated chemotherapy in higher doses. The fact that the chemotherapy is heated also makes it more effective.
During the procedure, a tube connected to a heated pump is inserted into the abdomen. The chemotherapy is heated to 42 Degrees Celsius and is pumped into the abdomen for around 60-90 minutes.
After Cytoreduction and HIPEC, patients are kept in hospital for 1-2 days. There are risks and complications patients need to be aware of such as reduced kidney function. The surgeon will go over the potential risks and complications during a consultation.
Is HIPEC treatment right for me?
HIPEC is an innovative procedure that can help to treat advanced stage abdominal cancers. However, it isn’t necessarily right for everyone.
To determine if HIPEC is right for you, book a consultation with Professor Jamie Murphy today. Patients need to be healthy enough to undergo the two-stage procedure. You also need to understand the risks and complications you will be exposed to which will be discussed in full during your consultation.