Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Rate

Peritoneal mesothelioma is known as one of the 4 main kinds of malignant mesothelioma. The name originates the area where the cancer first grows, which is along the peritoneum, also known as the abdomen lining. About 250 to 500 new cases of peritoneal mesothelioma are actually diagnosed in the U.S. every single year, which makes it the second-most frequently occurring mesothelioma disease. All traits of mesothelioma , which includes peritoneal, stem from the extended exposure to asbestos, which is commonly prevalent at work place. People that are diagnosed with the disease oftentimes can pinpoint a particular time in their lifetime when they got the exposure to asbestos dust, products, or even fibers for a sustained period. This particular exposure may lead to ingestion or inhalation of microscopic asbestos substances, which may generate cancerous cells, usually followed by the growth of tumor.

The peritoneum denotes a protective membrane which surrounds the abdomen, or stomach. It has a couple of layers, and mesothelioma can grow on any of these sides. The parietal lining covers the abdominal cavity, while visceral lining surrounds the stomach, liver, and some other organs in the abdomen. The layers altogether support the abdominal cavity as one unity and the organs located in it.

What are the Causes of Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Even though there is no specific answer available to that inquiry, most doctors specializing in mesothelioma cancer usually associate the cause of peritoneal mesothelioma with each of the theories that follow:

  • Incidental swallowed asbestos fibers traveling from the digestive system to the peritoneum.
  • Inhaled asbestos fibers may reach the peritoneum through the lymphatic system, commonly producing and storing cells which fight against the disease.
  • Early symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include swelling or abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea. Unluckily, some patients do not experience any symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma until the tumors have spread or metastasized. This particular scenario makes the treatment of the disease rather complex and difficult, leading to harder survival.

You may not experience cancer symptoms for twenty or even fifty years after your first diagnosis and exposure to asbestos products. Once asbestos products or fibers reach the peritoneum and then start irritating the cells, the peritoneal lining will begin to get thicker. Just as the cancer grows, the buildup of excess fluid in the abdomen, which is known as the ascites, may occur subsequently. Over the time, the asbestos-caused tumors will form and place pressure on the organs.

Diagnosing Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The latest breakthrough in medical technology allows doctors to diagnose the disease even earlier than before, but even the most sophisticated technology and approach may fail to diagnose the disease since mesothelioma may appear like some common disease, such as common cold. In addition the latency period of mesothelioma is known to be quite long. With the fact that more and more advances in medical technology and research, somehow doctors find it rather hard to diagnose the disease since even experienced doctors specializing in cancer can struggle to accurately diagnose the disease. In fact, the process can take several months to accomplish.

The process of diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma is similar to that of some other types. It commonly starts with a thorough check of your medical history, overall physical condition, and occupational history, which is followed by a number of tests including biopsies and imaging scans. You have to be sure to mention any history related to the exposure to asbestos, even if your doctors do not remember to ask. It is very important that you share every detail that you can remember, which includes the dates the exposure took place and the length and duration of the asbestos exposures. This particular information will alarm your doctors about the possibility of an asbestos-related disease and help them to decide on the appropriate action to take.

Since the cancer is quite rare, doctors that are not yet experienced in dealing with the disease oftentimes misdiagnose mesothelioma patients with the more common sickness that have similar symptoms, which can be a serious mistake leading to the delayed proper and required treatment. Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms like the abdominal helioma swelling, weight loss, and hernia also occur in the abdominal cancers and many less critical conditions, which increase the likelihood of misdiagnosis.

If you have the history of exposure to asbestos, the best way to assure an accurate diagnosis is to schedule appointment with a doctor or specialist. Doctors that specialize in mesothelioma and some other asbestos-related disease or condition have the apt knowledge and tools required to make a prompt diagnosis and explain all the possible treatments available to you. There are two most common types of approach that doctors commonly apply in dealing diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma.

  • Imaging Scanning

When patient experiences symptoms like swelling or pain in the abdomen, doctors will ask for chest X-ray, CT scan, or some other types of imaging scan. These examinations will help them to detect potential tumors and show any cancer that has been spread. They will also aid doctors in choosing the best biopsy.

  • Biopsies

Radiologic biopsies are actually minor procedures which pull fluid and tissue samples which can be further inspected under microscope and can be used for some other tests as well. This is an essential step in the diagnostic process since only biopsy can confirm a peritoneal diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Sometimes doctors will need to carry out laparoscopic surgical biopsy, which appears more invasive. In both conditions, pathologists will look to see if the lab results show cancerous cells in peritoneal fluid or tissue. The delay, which is combined with the rapid progression of tumors, commonly results in late-stage diagnosis for the majority of patients.

Even though the stage of cancer is the most essential factor for determining the peritoneal cancer survival rate early, other things that are pertinent to cancer can be influential. The location of tumor, the type of tumor cells, patient’s age and overall health will all come at work. Someone that can withstand aggressive treatments, such as surgery, can have an improved long term prognosis. About 25 percent of peritoneal mesothelioma patients survive three years after the initial diagnosis.

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