Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin cell walls which surround the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum. Other types of mesothelioma include malignant pleural mesothelioma, occurring in the cell wall surrounding the lungs, and malignant pericardial mesothelioma, which occurs in the pericardial lining of the hearth. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second rarest form of the disease and accounts for approximately 20% of all mesothelioma cases each year.
What Causes Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is known only to be caused by exposure to asbestos, a microscopic natural fiber that was used heavily in industry. Asbestos is said to reach the abdominal wall by one of two methods. The first is through ingested asbestos fibers which are processed through digestion and become lodged in peritoneum. These other method is through the lungs and lymph nodes, by inhaled asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma of the pleura is also known to metastasize directly into the abdominal cavity if its spread is not slowed.
How is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treated?
Prognosis of mesothelioma patients is poor, and peritoneal mesothelioma patients are no exception. Most peritoneal treatment regimens for patients include palliative methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, if the disease is diagnosed in its earlier stages, patients may be eligible for surgical resection of the disease, which could potentially add years to initial prognoses.
How is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Physicians may suspect peritoneal mesothelioma if the patient complains of stomach, chest, or abdominal pain. Suspicious hernias may actually be a pleural effusion caused by peritoneal tumor growth. Misdiagnosis is common and patients will likely undergo multiple imaging scans and a diagnostic biopsy before an official diagnosis is made.
What are a patient's options?
Patients of peritoneal mesothelioma may be eligible for financial compensation if they exposed to asbestos. Industrial exposures were common and those exposed have collected compensation to finance high treatment costs. For additional information on your legal rights of mesothelioma please fill out the brief contact form on this page.