Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Understanding the Causes of Abdominal Mesothelioma and How It is Treated
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the thin lining that protects many of the body’s internal organs known as the mesothelium. This disease most often attacks the pleura, or the lining that covers the lungs and chest cavity, although in some cases mesothelioma has been reported to attack the peritoneum, or the thin cell walls that cover the abdominal cavity.
The peritoneum covers all the abdominal organs, and serves as a lubricant that allows internal organs to expand and contract against each other during normal body functions. If you are unfortunate enough to have contracted peritoneal mesothelioma, then you are probably one of only an estimated five hundred individuals in the United States who suffer from this extremely rare medical condition each year.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, as well as the other types of mesothelioma, is known only to have been caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a very fine but highly fibrous mineral which was extensively used in the early 1900’s, before a ban on the substance was put in place by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1989; however that ruling was overturned in 1991. At that point, information about the adverse effects of asbestos inhalation had already spread worldwide, sparking heated debates over its continued in various industries such as construction and the military.
In peritoneal mesothelioma, the asbestos particles are thought to reach the abdominal by one of two ways. The first is by accidental ingestion of asbestos fibers, which are then processed through digestion but gets lodged in the abdominal cavity. The other method is through the inhalation of asbestos particles which pass through the lungs and lymph nodes.
Diagnosis of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include stomachaches, chest pain, and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, an incorrect diagnosis is common with this disease. If you experience the symptoms and you suspect that you may have acquired peritoneal mesothelioma, consult your doctor right away. You might need to go through a series of imaging scans and diagnostic biopsies in order to get an accurate official diagnosis.
Currently, the only way to conclusively diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma is by undergoing procedures where fluid from the abdominal cavity is extracted for laboratory testing. The samples will be thoroughly checked for the presence of malignant cells. If malignant cells are present, the samples will undergo further testing in order to classify them as malignant mesothelioma.
Treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Because the disease is a type of cancer, treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma mostly consists of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, if you are diagnosed to have the disease in its early stages, you may be eligible for surgery, which could add years to your initial prognosis. If you have been diagnosed with some form of mesothelioma, it is important that you find support from family and friends.
Living with a chronic and dangerously life-threatening disease such as peritoneal mesothelioma can be tough, but if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, your body might become more receptive to the treatment, allowing you to live your life in the most positive manner possible. For more useful articles on peritoneal mesothelioma please browse through http://www.withmesothelioma.com/peritoneal-mesothelioma/ .