Intra-abdominal cancer refers to cancerous growths or tumours that develop within the abdominal cavity, encompassing various organs and structures such as the stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, and reproductive organs. 


These cancers can arise from the cells of these abdominal structures and can be of different types, including primary cancers that originate in the abdomen or secondary cancers that have metastasized from other parts of the body.


Some types of Intra-abdominal Cancers

  1. Stomach cancer (gastric cancer): Arises from the cells lining the stomach and can manifest in different forms, including adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).
  2. Liver cancer: Can be of different types, with hepatocellular carcinoma being the most common. It can originate from the liver cells or spread from other organs.
  3. Pancreatic cancer: Arises from the cells of the pancreas and can include different types such as pancreatic adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine tumours, and cystic tumours.
  4. Gallbladder cancer: Originates from the cells of the gallbladder and can be aggressive, often diagnosed at advanced stages.
  5. Colorectal cancer: Affects the colon or rectum and can spread to other parts of the abdomen, including the liver.
  6. Ovarian cancer: Arises from the cells of the ovaries and can spread within the abdominal cavity.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of intra-abdominal cancer can vary depending on the specific type and location of the cancer. Common symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel habit, unintended weight loss, and fatigue. Diagnosis often involves imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds, along with biopsies to confirm the presence of cancer cells.



Treatment for intra-abdominal cancer depends on the type, stage, and location of the cancer, as well as the individual’s overall health. Treatment decisions for these diseases are made in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team composed of many specialists. Depending on the specific diagnosis, the lead clinician may be a surgeon, a gynaecologist or oncologist.

Treatment modalities may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, either alone or in combination. The goal is to remove or destroy the cancerous cells while preserving the function of the affected organs as much as possible.

Regular follow-up visits with a healthcare provider are crucial for individuals diagnosed with intra-abdominal cancer to monitor the response to treatment, manage any side effects, and detect any potential recurrence or complications. 

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