What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

By Heidi Wingrain

Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the lining of abdominal cavity and accounts to about one-fifth of all reported cases of mesothelioma cancer. It is more common in men than women and mostly caused by exposure to asbestos. The symptoms start showing only after twenty to thirty years after such exposure and can assume life-threatening proportions if not treated immediately. Effective diagnosis of the disease can be made by a tissue biopsy, but other methods like CT scan may yield confusing results.

In some patients a normal check up regarding problems like gall bladder, pelvic mass, hernia etc. will reveal peritoneal mesothelioma. In a few cases the patients may have an uncomfortable feeling before the actual symptoms begin to appear. Pain in abdomen, collection of fluid in abdomen, formation of lumps, fatigue, fever, improper functioning of digestive system, weight loss for no apparent reason, anemia etc are the clinical symptoms of the cancer.

Various stages of this cancer can be found out in the tumor, lymph nodes and metastases system (TNM). General cancers are determined using this system. Localized abrasions, which are shown in the first level, are totally removable. In the second stage, the disease affects the abdominal cavity on peritoneal and organ surfaces. The disease is curable in this stage with the help of strong treatments. The third stage is when the infection spreads to liver and colon thereby affecting their functions. Still the infection remains inside the abdominal cavity. When the infection spreads from the abdominal cavity to adjoining organs the infection reaches the fourth stage.

Peritoneal mesothelioma patients are administered with strong medication and other treatment methods. Debulking surgery combined with intra peritoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy, intraperitoneal chemotherapy and radiation is the common multimodality treatment opted by doctors. Intake of vital minerals and nutrients is compulsory to make the body cope with the side effects of chemotherapy and other medications.

The physical health and age of the patient are important factors which determine the success of treatment. Proper treatment and timely diagnosis are vital factors which provide relief to the patients. - 30540

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