One of the fatal types of mesothelioma is Peritoneal Mesothelioma in which the cancerous cells attack the lining of the abdomen called Peritoneum. Peritoneum is the thin membrane, which shields various organs of the abdomen and also provides a lubricating fluid to enable the organs to move and work properly. Peritoneal Mesothelioma, which affects this lining, is yet now a relatively rare disease that accounts for about 1/5 of all mesotheliomas. Its only known cause in the U.S. till date is previous exposure to asbestos.
Though Mesothelioma is neither age nor sex specific, peritoneal Mesothelioma is mostly seen in men who are in the age group of 50-70 years. There are a number of symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma most of which start appearing after 20, 30 or 50 years after the exposure to asbestos. These symptoms may include weight loss (however, waist line may increase), pain or swelling in the abdomen, weakness, loss of appetite, bowel obstruction, anemia, nausea and fever. Also, fluid often accumulates in the peritoneal space leading to a condition called Ascites.
Diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma
The initial step towards detection of peritoneal mesothelioma includes X-rays and CT scans. For confirmed diagnosis, however the doctor needs to do biopsy whereby a piece of tissue is cut from the affected part of the victim’s body and is placed under microscope for examination. If the disease is detected at an early stage it stands better chance of getting cured than the state of diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma, where the cancer has already spread to various parts.
It’s true that peritoneal mesothelioma is fatal and leads to several deaths every year. However, with continued researches, several modes of treatments have been embarked upon and in the future there is a fair chance of the disease becoming absolutely curable. The types of treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
In surgery a part of the abdominal tissue is cut out to remove the tumor. At times the doctor may also need to remove a lung or a portion of the diaphragm as per the requirement of the surgery. Radiation therapy, the second method, requires the application of high energy X-rays to shrink the tumor and kill the malignant cells. The rays may be applied from an external machine or by placing the radiation source directly to the affected part of the body, by means of plastic tubes. Last treatment type is the chemotherapy whereby a combination of drugs is applied to kill the cancer cells. The drugs may be administered by mouth in the capsule form or may be applied intravenously via needle.
However, it is essential to mention that cost of treating any form of cancer is extravagant and you may consult a mesothelioma lawyer to earn you a handsome compensation from the authority who was responsible for your prior exposure to asbestos.
So learn more about peritoneal mesothelioma so that you can initiate the treatment at the very early stage and get cured.