Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer
Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer is not as commonly found in individuals as pleural, or lung, mesothelioma but it does occur and affects the peritoneum instead. The peritoneum is the thin, cellular wall that surrounds the abdomen’s interior that lubricates this area so those nearby organs can expand and contract normally. Without the optimal functioning of the peritoneum, internal body structures would be inflexible and unable work properly. Rates of peritoneal mesothelioma cancer are quite low, with around 400 to 450 individuals being diagnosed with this form of mesothelioma cancer each year.
Asbestos exposure causes all mesothelioma cancers but usually affects the lungs. However, in this type of abdominal asbestos-related cancer, asbestos fibers are both accidentally ingested and swallowed. This is how these microscopic fibers eventually become embedded in the peritoneum and give rise to peritoneal mesothelioma cancer. Pleural mesothelioma can develop into abdominal mesothelioma if it is allowed to metastasized and spread directly into the stomach and peritoneum.
Many individuals who were repeatedly exposed to “friable asbestos fibers” are often diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. This kind of asbestos was utilized in construction and industrial products generally found in naval shipyards, steel mills, aluminum plants and power plants. Friable asbestos fibers were used anywhere from 20 to 60 years ago, which means that most people diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma cancer are elderly and encounter difficulty in fighting the disease due to other health problems associated with aging.
In addition, physicians frequently misdiagnose an instance of this type of cancer because symptoms closely resemble those of abdominal disorders such as hernias or ulcers. Individuals who are older and think they may have once been exposed to asbestos should tell their doctor so that he can perform tests to rule out mesothelioma. Unfortunately, the prognosis of someone ultimately diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma cancer is not good; palliative measures are always taken, however, so that the individual remains as comfortable as possible.