That affects the lining of the abdomen. It occurs in the tissues lining the abdominal cavity that contain a fluid that enables the organs to move and work properly. It is a cancer, which is associated with asbestos exposure, a mineral belonging to the amphibole group used in making fireproof articles. Asbestos exposure can cause severe health complications.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is sometimes also referred as diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma, as this is the place where the cancer spreads out. Among asbestos related diseases, peritoneal mesothelioma is the most common cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma can prove fatal in many circumstances if proper diagnosis and treatment is not done. The latency period is very long [ten to fifty years] and most of the time it is diagnosed when the disease is well spread into the body. Mesothelioma can affect any part and organ of the body if not detected on time.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
The symptoms may not appear soon after exposure to asbestos. It may take a long latency period and symptoms may be clear after a long time.
• Most of the symptoms resemble that of flu
• Stomach pains and fever
• Abdominal swelling may occur
• Due to swelling of abdomen, extreme pain in the internal organs may take place
• Shortness of breath accompanied by a persistent cough due to build up of fluid between the lining of the lungs and the chest cavity known as pleural effusion.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma origins
Asbestos is the main cause for people developing peritoneal mesothelioma. Asbestos is a material used in shipyards and industries. Asbestos adds to the durability and fire resistance quality and gives strength to products and protects them against corrosion. Inhalation of asbestos can be serious and fatal in many cases. It causes the scar tissues to develop on lower lobes of both lungs, leading to minor cuts and lacerations in tissue. It can impair lung elasticity and the lung’s ability to sufficiently exchange gases.
Diagnosis – Peritoneal mesothelioma
AOne of the major obstacles in diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma lies in its symptoms resembling flu with fever and other symptoms. Many patients and doctors are unable to recognize the disease unless the tumors of peritoneal mesothelioma cause severe adnominal swelling and pain.
The diagnosis may be based on X- ray or CT scan. In both these methods of diagnosis, detailed images of the body are taken in which the complete picture of the body becomes clear and the doctor is able to identify where the cancerous cells are located.
Sometimes, an exploratory surgery is also performed based on the doctor’s recommendation. Also, a biopsy is carried out in which a sample of the cells is taken from the affected portion of the body, and it tested under the microscope to check for abnormal growth. A blood test is also done to rule out possibilities of other diseases and ailments.