What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the tumor of the peritoneum that is the membrane enveloping the organs in the abdomen. It is the second most common form of mesothelioma accounting for about 20% of the cases.
The other two common forms are Pleural Mesothelioma and Pericardial Mesothelioma.
What causes Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Like Pleural Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Mesothelioma is also caused due to exposure to asbestos fibres. And it can either be benign (cancerous) or malignant (non-cancerous). Any future reference refers to malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
How do asbestos fibres enter the peritoneum?
Asbestos fibres can enter the peritoneum in the following two ways-
The fibres caught by the mucus of trachea and bronchi can get swallowed and transported into the peritoneum through the intestinal walls.
The fibres inhaled in the lungs can get transported into the peritoneum through the lymphatic system.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are-
Abdominal pain and swelling
Weakness and weight loss
Loss of appetite
Swelling of feet
If the growing tumor presses upward, it leads to bowel obstruction and distention (Ascites), or the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal area. The wasting symptoms get more severe and painful with time.
How is it diagnosed?
Peritoneal mesothelioma, like pleural, can be detected by an X-Ray or a CT Scan, but actual diagnosis can only be done through a biopsy.
Is it curable?
There is no known cure for peritoneal mesothelioma. But depending on the size, stage and cell type there are treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery or a combination of therapies called multimodial therapy.
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