Peritoneal carcinomatosis is the growth of tumor cells on the surfaces of the organs inside the belly cavity. Carcinomatosis implants can grow on the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, gallbladder and, in women, on the ovaries and uterus. Carcinomatosis implants can also grow on the tissue lining of the belly cavity known as the peritoneum.
Peritoneal carcinomatosis is most often caused by the spread of cancer cells from a pre-existing cancer. The most common cancers that cause peritoneal carcinomatosis are colon cancer, rectal cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer and cancer or tumors of the appendix. Cancers of the peritoneum (the lining of the belly cavity) can also cause carcinomatosis. These cancers include peritoneal mesothelioma and primary peritoneal cancers.
Until recently, peritoneal carcinomatosis was considered untreatable. Fortunately, major advances in all aspects of cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and symptom management, have lead to improved outcomes and quality of life for people with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
The Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Center at the UMass Memorial Medical Center is dedicated to improving the survival and alleviating suffering for people with peritoneal carcinomatosis through comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and compassionate patient care, basic, translational and clinical research and patient, family and community education.