Peritoneal mesothelioma is a type of mesothelioma which occurs in 10% to 20% of all mesothelioma cases. This type of mesothelioma is developed into peritoneum which is the protective covering around abdominal cavity and its organs. In peritoneal mesothelioma, peritoneum becomes cancerous in nature due to the rapid proliferation of cancerous cells.
How Peritoneal Mesothelioma Causes?
But the question is that what causes cancerous cells proliferation in protective lining of mesothelium? The answer is ‘asbestos fibers’. Yes its asbestos exposure which causes the ultimate formation of cancerous tumors in mesothelium (peritoneum). Asbestos fibers enter the human body either by inhalation or by ingestion and approaches to peritoneum. Here these fibers get trapped and find no way to come out. After passing one or two decades these fibers start their destructive activities and bring changes in the nature of peritoneum. This change occurs in the form of irritation and inflammation which further increases to produce cancerous cells. Once these cells produce they start dividing rapidly which results in the thickening of peritoneum and fluid formation around it. As the quantity of fluid increase it starts putting pressure on abdominal organ and patient starts showing symptoms as persistent abdominal pain or lump formation under skin on abdominal region.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Various symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
* Abdominal Pain
* Abdominal Swelling
* Lump Formation in Abdominal Region
* Weight Loss
* Vomiting or Fever
Due to the slow process of cancer development which starts decades ago from lodging few asbestos fibers on peritoneum to excessive fluid formation, cancer cells proliferation and layer thickening it takes almost 20 to 50 years for a patient to demonstrate these symptoms because no mesothelioma symptom arises after initial asbestos exposure in any case.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma starts with the physical examination to find out the reason for symptoms patient is demonstrating persistently. The complete overview of patient’s history is also taken into account to trace the presence of asbestos exposure. Other diagnostic techniques include taking images of internal body organs through various imaging methods. X rays, MRI and CT scan are commonly applied techniques to take these cross sectional images of internal body organs. Minor biopsy can also be considered in order to take sample of fluid building around peritoneum. This sample is tested in laboratory to confirm the presence of cancerous cells in the body.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment
The treatment options available for the patient of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
1- Radiotherapy (using radiations to destroy cancer tumor)
2- Chemotherapy (injecting medicine directly to damaged part for instant and deep affect)
3- Surgery (removing affected parts completely)
In some cases radiotherapy is used to shrink the cancer tumor before surgery and then chemotherapy is applied to inject medicine directly into peritoneum after surgery. In this way combination of treatment options can be applied to destroy the cancer tumor and to stop the process of cancer cell proliferation.