Peritoneal mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium of the abdomen. Peritoneal mesothelioma is one of the less aggressive forms of mesothelioma but it can still be a fatal condition if untreated.
The mesothelium is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds specific body regions. The peritoneal mesothelium describes two layers of tissue in the abdomen. The visceral peritoneum is a thin tissue layer that covers the internal organs, while the parietal peritoneum is a tissue layer that surrounds the abdominal wall.
Peritoneal mesothelium is the second-most common kind of mesothelioma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer caused by asbestos. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for 15-20% of all mesothelioma diagnoses. There may be a latency period of decades between initial asbestos exposure and the presentation of cancer symptoms.
Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss, and fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity. Once symptoms present, there will need to be a series of testing methods, including imaging tests, blood tests, or biopsies.
Treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma include surgery, heated chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Life expectancy with a peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis ranges from two to six years. However, the life expectancy of patients with peritoneal mesothelioma is more favorable than other types of malignant mesothelioma.
Asbestos has a deep connection to all forms of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a fibrous class of silicon-based minerals that are heat and corrosion resistant. Asbestos comes in amphibole and serpentine forms. While it was frequently used in construction and manufacturing, asbestos is also a carcinogen with causal links to mesothelioma.
As with asbestos pleural diseases, asbestosis, and pleural fibrosis, asbestos causes mesothelioma when asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled from the environment. When asbestos particles become lodged in the abdomen, peritoneal asbestos can occur.
While peritoneal mesothelioma is primarily caused by asbestos particles becoming lodged in the abdomen, many scientists still struggle to fully understand how asbestos particles end up in the abdomen. The current theories are that asbestos particles are transferred into either the bloodstream or the lymphatic system where it travels to the abdominal lining. Once it’s embedded in the abdominal wall, the asbestos particle will repeatedly damage and irritate the tissue until the cells mutate and multiply out of control, leading to tumors.
Once a tumor has formed, it will continue to grow. This growth will cause pressure on other vital organs in the abdomen and may result in the growth of more tumors through a process known as metastasization. Additionally, if a tumor leaks into the bloodstream, cancer cells can travel to other bodily regions to multiply there as well.
Because peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in an area with high blood supply, it can easily spread and leads to a high rate of fatality. While early detection is vital, symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma can mimic the symptoms of many other abdominal conditions. In order to confirm whether or not abdominal symptoms are likely to be peritoneal mesothelioma, patients will need to consider whether they have been exposed to asbestos and confer with a mesothelioma specialist to take a biopsy.
If you have been exposed to any form of asbestos and have developed any cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma or asbestosis, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the costs of medical expenses, pain, suffering, or lost wages. In order to file and prevail in your personal injury lawsuit, you will need the help of an experienced Personal Injury Attorney.
With their legal expertise, trial tactics, and expert witnesses, your Personal Injury attorney will be able to zealously advocate for you in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Additionally, since Personal Injury attorneys work on contingency, if you don’t win, you don’t pay.