What is peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal mesothelioma)?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer found in the peritoneum, the protective tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen. A thin membrane of mesothelial cells, known as the peritoneum, envelops many of the organs in the abdomen. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a tumor of this membrane. Like pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma can be either benign or malignant. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a relatively uncommon form of mesothelioma cancer that accounts for less than a
quarter of all mesothelioma cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the abdominal lining, or peritoneum, which is why it is sometimes referrered to as abdominal mesothelioma. This membrane supports and covers the organs of the abdomen.
The peritoneum is made of two parts, the visceral and parietal peritoneum. The visceral peritoneum covers the internal organs and makes up most of the outer layer of the intestinal tract. Covering the abdominal cavity is the parietal peritoneum. Cells in these linings secrete a fluid which allows organs to move against one another. For instance, as the intestines move food through the body. The cells of the mesothelium are designed to create fluid, but the cancer causes them to overproduce, creating a build up of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity. Although there's no definitive explanation, it is widely believed that asbestos causes peritoneal mesothelioma in one of two ways. First, asbestos fibers may be ingested, and when in the intestinal tract, the fibers may work themselves into the peritoneal cavity and peritoneum. Second, they may be inhaled and transported through the lymph node system to the peritoneal cavity. It is not entirely clear how asbestos fibers come into contact with the peritoneum, but a standing hypothesis holds that asbestos particles are ingested with food and phlegm. Peritoneal mesothelioma, like pleural mesothelioma, is inconspicuous until decades after asbestos exposure. Warning signs include severe stomach pain, fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites), and weight loss. Peritoneal mesothelioma may be treated through surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Often these treatments will be used in combination with one another.
The typical symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pains, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal swelling. Fluid often accumulates in the peritoneal space, a condition known as ascites. Over time the wasting symptoms can become more and more severe. When peritoneal mesothelioma does becomes active victims will typically experience abdominal pains, a loss of appetite, nausea, and swelling of the abdomen. Obstruction of the bowels or hindered breathing due to tumor growth is also possible symptoms. Peritoneal mesothelioma, like its twin pleural mesothelioma, reflects asbestos exposure of even less than 1 year's duration nearly 45 years later. Fibrous asbestos could be inhaled, or could be attached to clothing, shoes, caps, hair and via these "co-factors" insinuate its way into the internal organs of persons coming from the workplace, as well as creating the conditions related to "second hand asbestos contamination" for family members, who likewise might show peritoneal mesothelioma symptomology later in life.
More information on mesothelioma cancer
What is mesothelioma cancer? - Mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order.
What types of mesothelioma are there? - Mesotheliomas consist of two general types-benign and malignant. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of the pleura.
What is pleural mesothelioma? - Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the pleura or lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs.
What is peritoneal mesothelioma? - Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the abdominal lining, or peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a tumor of this membrane.
What is malignant mesothelioma? - Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum).
What causes mesothelioma? - Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma. The chances of suffering from mesothelioma rise with the intensity and duration of exposure to asbestos.
What're the risk factors for mesothelioma? - The main risk factors for malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Other risk factors include radiation, zeolite, tobacco, and SV40 Virus.
Who's at increased risk for developing mesothelioma? - Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos and mesothelioma - Asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer are the three most frequent causes of death and disease among people with heavy asbestos exposure.
Where is asbestos found? - Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products. Exposure to asbestos can occur in home improvement and construction projects.
When is asbestos dangerous? - Asbestos is hazardous when it is friable. The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing.
How to reduce asbestos exposure? - Reducing exposure to asbestos by repairing damaged material will involve covering the material or sealing asbestos material.
What's the mesothelioma survival rate? - Mesothelioma is a serious disease. The average age at diagnosis is 50 to 70 years old. The average survival time is about one year.
What're the symptoms of mesothelioma? - Symptoms of mesothelioma include pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest, cough, fever, sweating, fatigue, and weight loss.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed? - Diagnosis of mesothelioma begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure.
How is mesothelioma staged? - Staging of mesothelioma is based on imaging studies such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. Malignant mesothelioma moves through four stages.
What's the treatment for mesothelioma? - Treatment for mesothelioma cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma.
Treatment of malignant mesothelioma by stage - Most patients with stage I mesothelioma have their cancer surgically removed by pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy.
Surgery for mesothelioma - Surgery for malignant mesothelioma can be aimed at long-term control of the cancer (aggressive surgery) or relief of symptoms (palliative procedures).
Chemotherapy for mesothelioma - Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy may be put directly into the chest.
Radiation therapy for mesothelioma - Radiation is useful because mesothelioma is made up of rapid growing cells and radiation is most effective on cells that divide rapidly.
How to prevent malignant mesothelioma? - The risk of malignant mesothelioma can be reduced by avoiding getting exposed to asbestos.
What's the prognosis of malignant mesothelioma? - The survival time after diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is about one year. Prognosis for malignant mesothelioma depends on how early it is diagnosed.
What about the mesothelioma lawsuits? - Mesothelioma lawsuits are classified into two groups: personal injury, and wrongful death. Mesothelioma lawsuits usually seek compensation for medical costs.
Who is mesothelioma attorney (lawyer)? - The benefits of hiring a mesothelioma attorney are numerous. A mesothelioma lawyer is able to provide both advice and assistance.