Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin cell walls which surround the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum. This thin membrane acts a lubricant within the abdominal cavity so that surrounding organs and internal body structures may contract and expand within their normal body function. Incidence of peritoneal mesothelioma is quite rare, and typically presents in less than 500 individuals in the United States each year……
Peritoneal mesothelioma is known only to be caused by exposure to asbestos, a microscopic natural fiber that was used heavily in industry. Asbestos is said to reach the abdominal wall by one of two methods. The first is through ingested asbestos fibers which are processed through digestion and become lodged in the peritoneum. The other method is through the lungs and lymph nodes, by inhaled asbestos fibers. Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura is also known to metastasize directly into the abdominal cavity if its spread is not slowed.
Many of those who have worked with asbestos materials have developed peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to friable asbestos fibers. Asbestos was used in myriad industrial materials and construction products. Exposure to asbestos was common in aluminum plants, steel mills, power plants, and naval shipyards.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a relatively rare disease, with only 200-500 diagnoses each year in the United States being documented. Risk however, is sustained in those who have been……..