Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin cell membrane called the peritoneum.  This collection of cells surrounds the gastrointestinal tract and provides lubrication for the stomach and intestines to move so that they may function properly. These organs must be able to move properly in order to properly digest and process food, and a failure in the peritoneum can result in severe and debilitating consequences.  Unfortunately, the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma can be so subtle that it can be confused with other, less dangerous diseases, and this aspect of the disease significantly contributes to its already staggering mortality rate.

Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma:

  • Stomach pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Weight lost
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal swelling

When asbestos is ingested, minute fibers enter the stomach and penetrate the stomach lining. As more and more fibers penetrate this delicate organ, the cells on the exterior lining begin to mutate into cancerous mesothelioma cells. These cells accumulate into tumors, and eventually overwhelm the peritoneum, killing off healthy stomach cells in the process. Furthermore, these tumors prevent the peritoneum from making the protective lining that aids the stomach in movement. In less drastic instances, the tumors on the stomach lining grow and exert increasing pressure on surrounding organs causing agonizing pain.

There is no cure for any type of mesothelioma, but certain conditions can aid in treatment. Age, type of cell affected, size and stage of the tumor, and whether or not the tumor responds to treatment greatly affect what course of action doctors can take.

Common treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma:

  • Chemotherapy: Strong drugs are used to shrink the size and kill tumors, but these drugs are extremely potent and often cause significant damage to other healthy cells.  These drugs can be taken orally, or in some cases the drugs are directly introduced into the tumors if they are resistant to other treatment
  • Radiation therapy:  Radiation is one of the ways to treat peritoneal mesothelioma.  Powerful X-rays can kill diseased cells, but they also can kill healthy cells, and many people undergoing radiation treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma often suffer hair loss and other side effects.
  • Surgery:  This most drastic option often involves the removal of the tumor or cancerous tissue in the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract.  The necessity of surgery is generally based on the extent and progression of the cancer.

Vigorous treatment and early diagnosis are often the keys to long term survival. Unfortunately, mesothelioma lies dormant for years, so most victims do not experience any side effects until the cancer is extremely advanced. After the cancer has overwhelmed the stomach, it is rare for patients to survive longer than five years.

Victims of peritoneal mesothelioma

Many victims of mesothelioma take comfort in knowing that the asbestos industry will no longer injure innocent people through deception and blatant lies.  Another source of comfort many victims discover is through the law.  Thousands of people are taking action against the asbestos industry in order to recover financial restitution for their pain and suffering, and you could be next.  Let our dedicated and experienced peritoneal mesothelioma attorneys help you get the compensation you may deserve.  Contact us today.



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Peritoneal Mesothelioma page updated on 1/11/2012