Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Peritoneal mesothelioma, specifically, is a type of mesothelioma that affects the peritoneum, a thin membrane that lines the abdominal and pelvic cavities. This type of mesothelioma is more difficult to diagnose and treat than other types of mesothelioma, as the symptoms can be vague and easily mistaken for other conditions.
As with other types of mesothelioma, the primary cause of peritoneal mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can become lodged in the peritoneum, leading to inflammation and scarring that can eventually cause cancer. Asbestos exposure is more common among people who work in certain industries, such as construction, shipbuilding, and automotive repair.
The diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma can be difficult, as the symptoms are often similar to those of other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or stomach ulcers. However, there are several tests that are used to diagnose the condition. These tests include imaging scans, such as a CT scan or MRI, blood tests, and biopsies.
Once peritoneal mesothelioma is diagnosed, treatment options vary depending on the stage of the cancer. Surgery is often used to remove tumors or affected tissue, and radiation and chemotherapy may be used to destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy is also being studied as a potential treatment option.
The prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma can vary greatly, depending on the stage of the cancer and the individual’s overall health. The five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is estimated to be between 10 and 20 percent.
As with any cancer, early diagnosis and treatment are key to improving the outcome for those with peritoneal mesothelioma. It is important for those with a history of asbestos exposure to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms of the disease and to seek medical attention if they experience any unusual or persistent symptoms.