They can be a consequence of various types of cancer

To know what peritoneal carcinomatosis is, it is important to localize the peritoneum.

He peritoneum It is a thin, transparent membrane that lines the inside of the abdominal cavity. Its function is to cover most of the organs in this area, such as the intestines, liver and stomach. It also has important functions such as facilitating organ movement and acting as a barrier against infection. However, this may be affected by peritoneal carcinomatosis.

As the doctor explains Jose Antonio PerezHead of the Gynecological Service at the Hospital Quironsalud Tenerife Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a condition in which cancer spreads to the surface of the peritoneum.

Carcinomatosis can occur due to various types of cancer, such as gynecological, gastrointestinal, and peritoneal mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei. Although it can also occur due to a malignant tumor in the peritoneal membrane itself.

Overall, it is estimated that 20-25% of cancers with intra-abdominal spread are peritoneal carcinomatosis. Deserves special mention ovarian cancerMoreover, in 70-75% of patients it is diagnosed in the phase of peritoneal carcinomatosis.

To summarize, “a complex and serious situation requires specific treatment to control its progression,” warns Dr. Perez.


Clinically, patients typically experience symptoms such as bloating, heaviness, indigestion, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.

However, these signs may indicate other conditions, so it is important to seek medical help for an accurate diagnosis.

In this sense, the doctor points out the importance of using additional tests that provide useful information. The most effective, he adds, are imaging techniques such as computed axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.

Incidence depending on cancer type

The incidence of peritoneal carcinomatosis depends on several factors, including the stage of the primary cancer.

As Dr. Perez explains, advanced stage cancer is more likely to spread to the peritoneum. “In addition, the spread of the disease may be influenced by previous treatments and their effectiveness,” he adds.

Finally, the biological characteristics of the tumor also play an important role, since some tumors have a greater tendency to spread peritoneally.

Colorectal cancer

Approximately 10–15% of patients with colorectal cancer develop peritoneal carcinomatosis at some point during the course of the disease.

Ovarian cancer

Peritoneal carcinomatosis is quite common in advanced ovarian cancer and occurs in up to 70% of cases at the time of diagnosis.

Stomach cancer

Approximately 10-20% of patients with gastric cancer develop peritoneal carcinomatosis at the time of diagnosis, and a larger percentage may develop it as the disease progresses.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

This is a relatively rare form of cancer, with an annual incidence of about 1-2 cases per million people.

Other sources of cancer

On the one hand, there is pancreas cancer. It is less common than the types of cancer mentioned, but can occur in advanced cases. On the other hand, there is primary peritoneal cancer. It is rare and appears similar to ovarian cancer.

Cytoreductive surgery

A medical team performs a surgical operation in a modern operating room. Surgical staff working in a hospital operating room. Concentrated surgeons work with a patient in the operating room.

Dr. Perez states that cytoreductive surgery (CRS) is the main treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis.

The goal of this procedure is to remove all visible tumor from the abdominal cavity. The procedure may involve resection of the affected organs. That is, complete or partial removal of organs such as the small intestine, colon, sigmoid rectum, spleen or internal genital organs).

Removal of the peritoneal membrane, including the domes of the diaphragm, and electrocoagulation of small tumor nodules located at the root of the mesentery may also occur.

In patients with ovarian cancerThe main prognostic factor is complete cytoreduction of the tumor disease, that is, surgical removal of the entire tumor.


On the other hand, gynecologist Kironsalud recalls that in recent months several clinical studies have been published demonstrating the effectiveness of HIPEC (in English). Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy).

HIPEC is a treatment that involves administering hot serum chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity. In particular, an additional contribution to cytoreduction surgery is the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy with hyperthermia between 41 and 42 degrees Celsius.

“HIPEC allows for higher concentrations of drug to be used in the affected area with fewer systemic side effects. Moreover, it acts directly on the affected area,” notes Dr. Perez, who states that “the combination of CRS and HIPEC has demonstrated significant improvement in survival in selected patients.”

Finally, the specialist claims that the team of gynecologists at Quirónsalud Tenerife has the most modern equipment and technology and is aware of new trends and developments in obstetrics and gynecology.

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