What Are Peritoneal Signs?

Peritoneal signs indicate the presence of peritoneal cancer. WebMD notes that signs of peritoneal cancer, include: abnormal vaginal bleeding, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss or gain, frequent urination, shortness of breath, nausea or diarrhea, constipation, feeling full even after a light meal and abdominal discomfort or pain from gas, indigestion, pressure, swelling, bloating or cramps.

WebMD explains that this rare cancer develops in a thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen and covers the uterus, bladder and rectum. Patients sometimes confuse this condition with intestinal or stomach cancer. Peritoneal cancer differs from cancers that spread to the peritoneum because it actually originates in the peritoneum.

However, WebMD explains that peritoneal cancer looks and acts like ovarian cancer and occurs more often in women than men. Women who are more at risk of ovarian cancer also have a higher risk of peritoneal cancer. Peritoneal cancer may occur anywhere in the abdominal space and affects the surface of organs contained inside the peritoneum.

Doctors test for peritoneal cancer by looking for abnormalities in the bladder, colon and rectum, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, stomach, uterus and vagina. In addition to the physical exam, doctors may perform an ultrasound and conduct a CA-125 blood test.