Peritoneal Surface Malignancy (PSM)

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Peritoneal surface malignancy (PSM), also called peritoneal cancer, is a rare, very serious cancer. It occurs when cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (appendix, colon, rectum, stomach) and gynecologic tract (ovaries) spread to the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity. It is difficult to treat because traditional chemotherapy is not effective.

Until recently, no treatments could stop the disease or slow its spread. But there’s new hope for patients with PSM.

Memorial Healthcare System now offers a relatively new treatment for PSM: cytoreductive surgery plus hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). The combination can help you live longer and stop the cancer from coming back. The dual approach helps many patients get back to work and to the activities they enjoy.

PSM Treatment: Why Choose Memorial Healthcare System?

For cytoreductive surgery plus HIPEC to be successful, you need to have a very experienced care team. At Memorial Healthcare System, our PSM program specializes in this innovative treatment. When you choose us for PSM treatment, you’ll find:

  • One of few HIPEC centers in the region: Cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC should be performed only in high-volume hospitals by surgeons with extensive training. Memorial Healthcare System is one of the few institutions in South Florida that provides this specialized and aggressive treatment.
  • Whole-person treatment philosophy: Our team is “high tech” and “high touch.” Our care is based on advanced science, but we also treat our patients holistically — healing the body, mind and spirit.
  • A team of caring specialists: At Memorial Healthcare System, you’ll have the support of your oncologist, surgeon, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, pain specialists, social workers, integrative medicine specialists and more. We treat our patients like family.
  • Enhanced recovery plan: Our team uses an evidence-based plan to help you heal and get home as quickly as possible. It reduces complications after surgery, shortens your stay in the hospital and speeds up your recovery.
  • Award-winning hospital: The American Hospital Association has honored Memorial Healthcare System as a national model for improving the health of our community. We also have won statewide consumer choice and best hospital awards.

What Is Peritoneal Surface Malignancy?

PSM is an advanced peritoneal cancer also known as peritoneal carcinomatosis or peritoneal metastasis. It is any cancer that affects the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the abdomen.

Some cases of PSM start in the peritoneum. But most cases occur when a primary tumor spreads from the original site (called metastasis) into the abdominal cavity.

For that reason, PSM is usually found during follow-up tests in patients already being treated for another type of cancer. For example, cancer in the colon, rectum, appendix, stomach or ovary can spread to the nearby peritoneum. The tumor cells then attach to the peritoneal lining and grow.

PSM Symptoms

Common symptoms of PSM include:

  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Pressure in the belly area

You may also experience:

  • Back pain
  • Bowel or urinary changes
  • Buildup of watery fluid in the abdominal area (called ascites)
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

As PSM worsens, it may cause complete blockages that affect bowel or urinary function. Eventually, you may be unable to eat or drink.

Contact Us

To find out if you're eligible for HIPEC to treat PSM, call to schedule an appointment with Omar Llaguna, MD at 954-844-9520.

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