A type of cancer that develops in the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen). It is often caused by inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of mesothelioma – first being pleural mesothelioma – and accounts for 20-25% overall cases of mesothelioma.
Life expectancy of this form of cancers is longer than those suffering with pleural mesothelioma. According to some studies, the victims of peritoneal-mesothelioma may live over 5 years after diagnosis. On the other hand, life expectancy of pleural mesothelioma is just under one year.
What Are The Symptoms Of Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are pretty common and they are often confused with other conditions. Causing the victims to not pay serious attention until it becomes extremely severe. This fatal disease has a tendency to appear on later stages where tumor has already spread to the other parts of body.
Here are major symptoms of abdominal mesothelioma:
- Abdominal pain
- Bowel problems
- Loss of Abdominal swelling
- Fever or sweating
- Tissue lumps in abdomen
- Fluid buildup
- Blood clots
How Asbestos Causes Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
All forms of mesothelioma are caused be asbestos inhalation.
- Asbestos particles are ingested, either by inhaling, coughing or swallowing.
- Once they are inhaled, our body tries to filter them out. Some of the particles lodge into the lining of exposed organ and cause a genetic damage to the tissues.
- This genetic damage causes formation of a tumor, resulting in mesothelioma cancer.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosis:
X-rays are the most widely used tool to detect peritoneal-mesothelioma as other tools (CT scan or MRI) often confuse it with abdominal distention (gas).
Another technique used to diagnose this form of mesothelioma is ‘peritoneoscopy’. This technique consists of a little cut on patient’s abdomen, followed by a small camera to explore the diseases organ. This camera has a tiny tool which helps to locate the exact spot of the tumor.
Treatment Options For Peritoneal Mesothelioma Victims:
Treatment of malignant mesothelioma depends on the stage of disease. Usually there are 4 stages of mesothelioma:
- Stage 1: tumor is contained within the abdomen
- Stage 2: tumor may start to spread, but it is still within the peritoneum
- In stage 3 and 4, the tumor is not more contained within the abdomen and has rolled out to other organs.
Once the stage has been identified, doctors start the treatment. Tumor in first two stages can be rooted out through a surgery. However on later stages where tumor has already affected organs, palliative treatment comes into play. This means relieving the pain instead of try and cure the disease.
How Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treated?
Three different methods are used to treat this fatal disease.
- Cytoreductive Surgery
Only surgical option for those diagnosed with peritoneal tumor. Best results come when Cytoreductive Surgery is combined with chemotherapy.
Most common treatment option. It is often directed at abdomen during surgery.
Least used option for peritoneal-mesothelioma victims. It may also be used in combination with surgery.
These are some of the symptoms and guidelines for peritoneal mesothelioma victims. Find out more here.