Primary peritoneal cancer is a rare kind of cancer with more prevalence among women, as compared to men.
The primary site of attack is the peritoneum. Peritoneum is the inner lining of the abdominal cavity. This Primary Peritoneal Cancer is a silent killer because it slowly and silently sneaks up on the victim, without giving out too many symptoms.
The disease has usually progressed to a point of no return, by the time it is diagnosed.
Pathology of Primary Peritoneal Cancer
It has a pathological feature simulating the ovarian cancer, where the cells from both the cancers look quite alike when under the microscope.
Primary Peritoneal Cancer has also been misdiagnosed as ovarian cancer, Intestinal Cancer etc. The fact that the peritoneal fluid contained within the Peritoneum in the abdominal cavity is highly rich in nutrients makes it very convenient for the Cancer cells to multiply faster here.
Though the cancer cells can reach here after metastasis from other sites, Primary Peritoneal cancer, relates to the onset of the cancer in the peritoneum.
Danger of Peritoneal Cancer
The Primary Peritoneal cancer manages to kill most of its victims, because it rarely gives out any specific symptom. The symptoms if any are, vague and mostly dismissed as common ailments or even as indigestion, by many of the affected patients.
Nausea, bloating of the abdomen, lack or loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, altered bowel and urinary routines, weight issues etc are all vague symptoms and does not raise an alarm in the minds of those affected.
A simple questionnaire covering just four symptoms, used in combination with the CA-125 blood test has helped in diagnosing almost 80 % of the early stage Primary Peritoneal Cancer cases.
Early diagnosis of Primary Peritoneal cancer is highly significant because case detected early and treated in time, have higher rates of survival.
Prognosis in Primary Peritoneal Cancer
Prognosis of Primary Peritoneal cancer is similar to ovarian cancer. There are a variety of factors used to monitor the prognosis of the disease, but the internationally accepted factors are listed as follows:
Stages of this Cancer
The International federation Of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has maintained a standard of classifying the various stages of the disease. This is an excellent diagnostic method with high accuracy, because it not only considers the pathological but also the surgical findings in to consideration. FIGO stage I is an optimistic prognosis with high rates of survival. Stage I and Grade I, when in combination can give around 90% chances of survival and life expectancy up to 5 more years. Stage I A and Stage I B also give the same prognosis.
Stage I C and Grade III histology reports present a grave picture, with poor prognosis.
Stage IV is a stage of metastasis and very negative prognosis with lot of hepatic and other metastases.
The grading system is significant only for the decision making process regarding Chemotherapy. Stage I patients have a wonderful prognosis and even Stage I combined with Grade I is a very good prognosis.
When it is already proved that such patients belonging to Grade I and Stage I do well even in the absence of any chemotherapy, oncologists prefer to use the grading process only to decide about chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is dangerous and has a lot of side effects, so it is always used with great caution. Grading of the tumors helps in keeping peritoneal cancer patients away from any unnecessary and unwarranted Chemotherapy.
Peritoneal fluid cytology
Peritoneal fluid cytology is used to classify the disease in to the various stages and grades depending on the findings in the fluid.
Volume of Residual disease
Volume of residual disease holds good for the cases which have progressed in to the later stages. In progressed Stage II and Stage III, certain surgical methods like cyto-reduction are done.
Cyto-reduction means surgical removal or excision of the affected part is done with an aim of prolonging the life expectancy and also to stop or limit the progression.
Serum CA-125 levels are related to the stage and progression of the disease. It is important for the Stage I cases because when combined with the four point questionnaire provides an important tool in diagnosis of the disease.
It is of great value in assessment of the peritoneal cancer cases after they have undergone Cyto-reductive surgery
Treatment in Homeopathy
Homeopathy has hopes for patients suffering from this and other types of cancer.
Homeopathic treatment for primary peritoneal cancer does not involve any surgical procedure or radiation. Neither does it use any harmful medications.
Primary peritoneal cancer treatment with homeopathic medicines is safe and shows far better prognosis, where the chances of complete cure and survival rates are more. Moreover, even in the patients with advanced pathology, homeopathy offers effective palliation and the life expectancy and quality of life are both improved to a great deal.