Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers some of the organs located in the abdomen. This type of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in construction and manufacturing until the 1970s when its health hazards were discovered.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become embedded in the lining of the organs and cause inflammation and scarring over time. In some cases, this can lead to the development of cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma specifically occurs when asbestos fibers become lodged in the peritoneum and cause cancerous growths to form.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma can include abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. These symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from other common gastrointestinal issues, which can make it challenging to diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma in its early stages.
Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible is often the first step in treatment, followed by chemotherapy and radiation to target any remaining cancer cells.
While the prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma is generally poor, advances in treatments and therapies have led to some improvements in survival rates. It’s important for individuals who have been exposed to asbestos to seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms or are concerned about their risk for peritoneal mesothelioma.