Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity. It is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, which become lodged in the lining of the abdomen. Asbestos is a mineral that has been used in many products, including insulation, for decades.
Although it is not as common as other forms of mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is still a serious cancer that can be deadly. It is important for people to understand the risk factors for peritoneal mesothelioma, the signs and symptoms, and the treatment options available.
The primary risk factor for peritoneal mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. This exposure can occur in a variety of ways, including through work, home renovations, and living in a home with asbestos insulation. People who worked in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing may have been exposed to asbestos fibers, as the mineral was widely used in these industries for many decades.
Signs and Symptoms
Early signs and symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include abdominal pain, swelling, and difficulty eating. As the cancer progresses, other symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, and fever. It is important to note that these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, so it is important to speak to your doctor if you experience any of them.
The primary treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma is surgery, which may involve removing the tumor or part of the affected organ. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation may be used to shrink the tumor or slow its growth. Patients may also receive targeted therapies, such as immunotherapy or gene therapy, which can work to target the cancer cells and prevent them from spreading.
Living with peritoneal mesothelioma can be a difficult and emotional experience, and it is important to have a support system in place. This can include family, friends, and support groups. There are also many organizations and resources available for people living with mesothelioma, including the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Mesothelioma Research Foundation.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a serious cancer that can be deadly, but with the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage the condition and extend life expectancy. It is important to speak to your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.