Peritoneal cancer is an often advanced cancer most commonly of Gastrointestinal or Gynecologic origin in which cancer cells form in the tissue lining the peritoneum, which is the tissue lining the abdominal wall and covering abdominal organs.

There are two kinds of peritoneal cancers: primary and secondary.

Primary Peritoneal Cancers


Primary peritoneal cancers, which begin in the peritoneum, and include:

  • Epithelial cancers
  • Desmoplastic small round-cell tumors
  • Mesothelioma (benign, which means non-cancerous, and malignant, which means cancerous).

Primary peritoneal cancers are usually diagnosed in women only, with just a few rare cases of it diagnosed in men.

Secondary Peritoneal Cancers


Secondary peritoneal cancers usually start in other organs in the abdomen and spread to the peritoneum. These cancers can be gynecologic, genitourinary or gastrointestinal (stomach, small bowel, colorectal, appendix) in origin.

Secondary peritoneal cancers can be diagnosed in both men and women. Additionally, patients who carry the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene are at higher risk for ovarian cancer, which can increase their risk for peritoneal disease.

There is no such thing as a routine peritoneal cancer. Every patient’s disease is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving that specific disease.

At the OSUCCC – James, our peritoneal cancer sub-specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on these tumors and who reach across medical disciplines (medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pharmacists, perfusionists, nurse sub-specialists, advanced practice specialists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

The OSUCCC – James peritoneal cancer experts treat the most peritoneal cancer cases in the region. The OSUCCC – James is one of the few high-volume peritoneal cancer treatment centers in Central Ohio.

In fact, our unique Multidisciplinary Gynecologic and Gastrointestinal Cancer Clinics offer all newly diagnosed patients an on-site, thorough evaluation and treatment-options review with experts from medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and more – all on the same day – so that together, the patient and the experts can decide on the best personalized treatment options.

Additionally, patients have access to advanced treatment procedures performed only at the OSUCCC – James by internationally recognized experts in gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers.

And by offering access to some of the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

If you’ve been diagnosed with peritoneal cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a peritoneal cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

Peritoneal Cancer Symptoms

Peritoneal cancer symptoms can vary based on the type, stage of cancer and individual genetic makeup of the patient’s tumor.

Symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Distension (stretched or enlarged abdomen)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Ascites (fluid build-up)

If you’ve been diagnosed with peritoneal cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a peritoneal cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066