The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Leeds Cancer Centre

Peritoneal cancer


Primary peritoneal cancer (PPC) is a cancer that affects the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a layer of thin tissue that lines the abdomen and covers all the organs within it such as the bowels and the liver. Most People are over the age of 60 when they are diagnosed.

Symptoms for PPC can be very unclear and difficult to spot and most women don’t have symptoms for a long time. When symptoms do occur they may include any of the following:

  • loss of appetite
  • feeling or being sick
  • indigestion
  • feeling bloated
  • swollen abdomen (tummy) due to a build-up of fluid known as ascites.
  • abdominal Pain
  • constipation or diarrhoea

Treatment for PPC is usually a combination of surgery and chemotherapy or just chemotherapy on its own. Surgery usually involves the removal of both ovaries, womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, lymph nodes and omentum (fatty apron-like tissue in the upper abdomen. Surgery may also include removing part of the bowel if the cancer has spread there.

You can read more information in the leaflet: Surgery for Ovarian Mass/Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma