Peritoneal Cancer Screening

Cancer screening exams can help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are greatest. These tests are usually done when you are healthy and have no specific symptoms.

Although there are currently no screening tests recommended to detect peritoneal cancers that show no signs or symptoms, expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James are working to develop tests that can detect and diagnose the disease as early as possible, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

Diagnosing Peritoneal Cancer

An accurate, complete diagnosis is essential for effectively treating peritoneal cancer. Because there is no routine cancer, the OSUCCC – James’s world-renowned peritoneal cancer specialists and subspecialists reach across multiple disciplines and modes of treatment to offer patients the latest technologies and the most advanced procedures to understand peritoneal cancer at the molecular and genetic levels – the levels that drive each patient’s specific cancer.

The OSUCCC – James is home to world-renowned diagnostic experts in peritoneal cancers. In fact, our team includes experts who specialize in gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers – and only those cancers, 24/7 – studying, discovering and treating each kind, and developing and delivering leading-edge therapies.

These subspecialists and super subspecialists use the most accurate, advanced diagnostic testing and technology to analyze your cancer, enabling an entire team across multiple medical disciplines to determine the most effective, targeted treatment specifically for you.

If peritoneal cancer is suspected, your OSUCCC – James specialist will examine you and ask you about your medical history, including information about symptoms and any risk factors you may have.

The experts may also conduct the following tests to form a diagnosis:


During a biopsy, your peritoneal cancer specialists remove a small piece of tissue so that a specially trained OSUCCC – James pathologist can examine the cells under a microscope for any signs of cancer, DNA abnormalities or certain proteins on the surface of cancer cells. This can confirm a diagnosis and help the experts determine what type of cancer it is and the best course of personalized treatment for the patient’s specific cancer.

Blood Tests and Tumor Markers

Blood Chemistry Analysis

A blood sample is taken to measure the amounts of certain substances such as antibodies (proteins) released into the blood.

Tumor Marker Tests

Some people with peritoneal cancer have abnormally high levels of certain genetic markers known as antigens, and these may signal peritoneal cancer.

Diagnostic Imaging

Imaging tests produce pictures of the inside of the body, and they can help the experts determine the extent, of the disease. Tests may include:

CT Scan (Computed Tomography Scan)

A type of x-ray test that produces detailed, cross-sectional images of your body. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography or computerized axial tomography. A CT scan can show evidence of a peritoneal tumor.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRI scans use a high-powered magnet and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body.

PET Scan (Positron-Emission Tomography Scan)

Your OSUCCC – James specialists use a small amount of a radioactive agent mixed with glucose (sugar) to identify areas of cancerous activity the body. (Cancer cells absorb sugar faster than normal cells.)

A special imaging camera is able to display cancerous cells brighter on PET images.


Colonoscopy is the most reliable and preferred screening method for identifying abnormal precancerous growths, called polyps. Using a tube that is slightly longer than a sigmoidoscope, a specially trained doctor examines the inside of the colon and rectum to identify polyps or other abnormal tissue and remove polyps to prevent future cancer and possibly for biopsy. Patients must prepare for colonoscopies for a day to several days in advance to make sure that their colons are clear for the exam.


An endoscopy is a procedure designed to look at the inside of tissues or organs within the digestive tract. The tool used to perform this procedure is a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.

Peritoneal Cancer Staging

If you are diagnosed with peritoneal cancer, staging the tumor is just one of many ways your OSUCCC – James peritoneal cancer experts can determine the amount and location of your cancer, and it can help them choose the most effective, personalized treatment options for your particular disease.

Staging is different for each type of peritoneal cancer. Since it is a complex disease, it is dependent upon the primary tumor.

Your OSUCCC – James peritoneal cancer expert will diagnose and stage your cancer.

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

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