Peritonectomy surgery can be appropriate in some other rare cancers, although world-wide experience in these other conditions is more limited. As a result, it is more difficult to be sure about the potential benefits of the surgery, and whether other treatments might be as effective.
If your cancer is not one of those listed below, you need to be sure that you have been given the information that you require to fully understand your particular position. You also need to have discussed it thoroughly with your surgeon and a medical oncologist before proceeding.
- Appendix cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Psuedomyxoma peritonei
Understanding Relapse and survival times
It can be confusing to read or hear about relapse and survival times. Doctors may talk about median or average survival time. This refers to the time passed before half of the people receiving a treatment have died. For example, a median survival of 12 months means that half of the people receiving a treatment live less than 12 months and half live longer than 12 months. It is not possible to predict for each person how long they will live. The median time allows doctors to provide you with a range of possible outcomes including worse case and best-case scenarios.
The other way you will read or hear about survival is in terms of specific time points. For example: ‘5 year survival’. What this refers to is the fraction of people receiving a treatment living for 5 years or longer.
The same terms may be used to describe the chance of your cancer returning or progressing over time. Surviving 5 years does not exclude the possibility that your cancer hasn’t already relapsed or will relapse in the future.
Sometimes the doctors may talk about the chance of cure. In principle, peritonectomy and HIPEC is conducted to try and cure the cancer. In practical terms for most of the cancers we treat the chances of cure are very low. From a practical perspective our unit would consider a cure to be that a person is alive 10 years after treatment and has no evidence of cancer recurrence.
Who can I talk to?
Your care involves a lot of different people and you are welcome to ask questions of any of us. Good points of contact are the Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNC) for Peritonectomy. You can contact them to discuss any issues or to find out who is the best person to speak to. They are available Monday to Friday from 8:00am until 4:30pm:
Telephone: (02) 9113 2789
Answering Machine: (02) 9113 1111
We can also arrange for you to talk to a patient who has been through this procedure and we recommend you visit ICU to see what it is like. A tour of ICU can be arranged through the Peritonectomy Nurse Consultant (please do not contact ICU directly).