Peritoneal mesothelioma is a disease that affects the lining of the abdomen, or peritoneum. Like the other types of mesothelioma, it is caused by exposure to asbestos, which has been widely used in many industrial products, such as cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. The peritoneal form of mesothelioma is a relatively uncommon type of cancer that accounts for less than a quarter of all mesothelioma cases. Like other forms of the disease, it is inconspicuous until decades after asbestos exposure.
While peritoneal mesotheliomas are less common than pleural mesotheliomas, they tend to be more invasive, and thus often result in a shorter life expectancy for the patient. An early diagnosis of the disease is important. The relief and treatment of people afflicted with this disease improves dramatically the earlier it is detected. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed until it is quite advanced.
The first step towards detecting peritoneal mesothelioma involves X-rays and CT scans, but a definitive diagnosis is only achieved through a biopsy, which usually involves removing a tiny piece of tissue for analysis. At this time, even though there are various treatment options available, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, there is no known cure.
Typical symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pains, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal swelling. Because these symptoms are so common, and may be attributed to numerous ailments other than mesothelioma, diagnosis is often delayed until it is too late for treatment to do much more than help the patient feel more comfortable.
Find out more about Peritoneal Mesothelioma.
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