Among the various types of mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is one of the most rare and difficult to treat.
What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in the lining of the abdomen, known as the peritoneum. The peritoneum covers and supports the organs in the abdominal cavity and secretes a fluid that allows the organs to move easily against each other. asbestos exposure is the only known cause of peritoneal mesothelioma.
Exactly how asbestos fibers reach the peritoneum, however, is uncertain. While inhaled asbestos dust may travel to the abdominal lining via the blood stream or lymphatic system, most experts believe that food contaminated with asbestos dust is the culprit. According to this theory, when asbestos-contaminated food is eaten, the fibers from the food settle in the stomach and travel to the peritoneum. There, they cause chronic inflammation that eventually develops into peritoneal mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma can appear 30 years or more after exposure to asbestos. It typically produces no noticeable symptoms until inflammation sets in, resulting in abdominal pain that may be mistaken for a stomach virus or other ailment. As peritoneal mesothelioma progresses, additional symptoms may appear, including:
In the later stages of peritoneal mesothelioma, patients may suffer from bowel obstruction, fever, anemia, or hernia.
How is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma is a challenge. Symptoms may not appear until decades after asbestos exposure, and then patients may hesitate to seek medical attention in the belief that their symptoms are caused by a more common, less threatening ailment.
If you experience troubling symptoms, let your doctor know about any asbestos exposure. If your doctor suspects that you have peritoneal mesothelioma, imaging studies (X-ray, MRI, or CT scan) and tissue biopsies can help to confirm the diagnosis.
For more than 30 years, Sokolove Law has fought for justice on behalf of mesothelioma victims and their families. To see if a mesothelioma lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve, call 1-888-360-4215 today.