Primary peritoneal cancer is a cancer of the cells lining the peritoneum, or abdominal cavity. The peritoneum helps protect the contents of the abdomen and produces a lubricating fluid. This fluid helps the organs move smoothly inside the abdomen as we move around.
Primary peritoneal cancer can occur anywhere inside the abdomen and affect the surface of any organ contained there. When found in women, symptoms and treatment for primary peritoneal cancer are similar to those for ovarian cancer. In fact, clinical trials for ovarian cancer to discover new and better treatment methods often include primary peritoneal cancer.
Treatment for primary peritoneal cancer generally includes surgery and chemotherapy.