Why choose us for primary peritoneal cancer care?
Primary peritoneal cancer is a rare cancer that comes from the inside lining of the abdominal cavity. At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, you access outstanding care from a team of experts.
Our team includes fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologists and other cancer doctors with expertise in treating gynecologic cancers. We support you at every point in your cancer care, helping you receive the leading treatment options available to you.
Other centers in San Antonio and surrounding communities refer complex gynecological cancer cases to us because of our expertise in this area. This experience helps us deliver a specialized level of care for primary peritoneal cancer.
Primary peritoneal cancer is one type of gynecological cancers we treat. Learn more about our gynecologic oncology program.
What you need to know about primary peritoneal cancer
- Primary peritoneal cancer (PPC) forms when cells in the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdomen inside your body) grow out of control. PPC cells look and act much like ovarian cancer. Doctors treat these two cancers, as well as fallopian tube cancers, in similar ways.
- PPC can affect anyone, but it mostly affects those with female reproductive organs. It’s possible to develop PPC even after having your ovaries removed.
- Research studies show clear advantages when gynecologic oncologists treat primary peritoneal cancer. Our skilled gynecologic surgeons use advanced techniques to remove cancer tissue with a high level of precision.
- A family history of ovarian cancer may increase your chance of developing cancer. Our genetic testing and counseling services can assess your risk level and develop a plan to protect your health.
- At Purple Heals, you can connect with a broad network of local gynecological cancer survivors. This large support group, unique to South Texas, offers in-person and online opportunities for support and guidance.
How to talk to your doctor about primary peritoneal cancer
Primary peritoneal cancer is a rare condition that requires specialized care. You can trust our team’s expertise.
Your doctor will go over everything you need to know about your diagnosis and how it may impact your health. We explain all treatment options, making it clear that we care about your input. We welcome your questions and concerns whenever you have them.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing you might need and how tests help guide your treatment plan
- Cancer stage, including which tissues or organs PPC affects and what that means for your health
- Treatment options, including oncofertility services that offer you reproductive options when cancer treatment affects your fertility
- Clinical trials you may be eligible for, at any phase of your care
- Support services to help you heal after surgery or manage treatment side effects
We encourage you to bring a supportive friend or family member along to your appointments. This person can be a comfort during what can be a stressful time. We welcome your support person to play whatever role feels right to you.
Some doctors consider primary peritoneal cancer a type of epithelial ovarian cancer because they have similar treatment. PPC and epithelial cancer cells look the same under a microscope.
The biggest factor that distinguishes ovarian cancer from PPC is where cancer originates:
- Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries.
- Primary peritoneal cancer cells start growing in the peritoneum (thin tissue layer that lines the inside of the abdomen).
The word “primary” in a cancer type describes where cancer started growing. PPC may spread to the reproductive organs, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Cancer can also originate elsewhere in the body, such as the colon, and spread to the abdominal lining. Doctors call this peritoneal carcinomatosis.