Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen and other organs of the body. This cancer is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, and can be difficult to diagnose due to its varied symptoms and slow-growing nature. As a result, researchers are working to better understand the pathology of peritoneal mesothelioma in order to develop more effective treatments.
The most common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma is abdominal pain, which is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as unintentional weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. These symptoms typically appear after a prolonged period of asbestos exposure, but can also be caused by other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or pancreatitis.
When it comes to diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma, doctors will typically order imaging tests such as an abdominal CT scan, PET scan, or MRI to look for tumors in the abdomen. Additionally, they may also order blood tests to look for elevated levels of a protein called mesothelin, which is often elevated in patients with mesothelioma. Finally, if necessary, a biopsy of the affected area may be conducted to confirm the diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma has been made, doctors will then determine the stage of the cancer. This is done by examining the size of the tumor, whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body, and the patient’s overall health. This information is used to determine the best treatment options, which can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
In terms of prognosis, the outlook for peritoneal mesothelioma is generally not very good. The average life expectancy is around one to two years, though this can vary depending on how advanced the cancer is. Additionally, the cancer can be difficult to treat, as it is typically resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
While much still needs to be learned about peritoneal mesothelioma, researchers are making progress in understanding its pathology. This knowledge is helping doctors to better diagnose and treat the cancer, which is allowing for more successful outcomes.