Mercy Surgical Oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi Discusses Latest Treatment For Peritoneal Cancer

April 10, 2012
Dr. Armando Sardi

Surgical oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi, Director of The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy

Peritoneal cancer is rare and hard to spot, but patients can get better if they're diagnosed correctly and get some aggressive treatment.

According to peritoneal cancer patient Helen Szablya, she had just returned from a trip to Paris celebrating her wedding anniversary when she noticed some post-menopausal bleeding. She contacted her doctor, who sent her for an MRI.

"The MRI came back and said there was a mucous cancer, which most likely was some form of peritoneal carcinosis," Szablya said.

Peritoneal cancer is rare and develops in the tissue that lines the abdomen. In Szablya's case, it had spread to her organs, including her liver.

Mercy surgical oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi recommended a radical surgery.

"We go in and spend between 10 and 15 hours removing all the visible tumor. At the same time we remove all of the tumor, we put things together so people can continue a good quality of life normally," Dr. Sardi said.

Doctors removed Szablya's spleen, gall bladder, ovaries, uterus, appendix, fallopian tubes and part of her liver, which has since grown back.

"What I call my six useless organs were all taken out, and I was given a hot chemo bath therapy. It's a complicated surgery," she said. "They put in catheter tubes in the abdomen for 90 minutes with heated chemotherapy. The idea is you have a high concentration of chemo where the tumor is so you can kill all surface tumors you may not be seeing."

Szablya was treated with HIPEC, Heated or Hyperthermic Peritoneal Chemotherapy.

Observing she is walking proof that the treatment works, Szablya said it's very important to get the right diagnosis so patients don't undergo several operations before doctors figure out what the problem is since the disease is hard to spot in its early stages.

"My prognosis is very good. It's been two years since my surgery," she said.




Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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