Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment Options

Three Potential Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment Options

Mesothelioma is one of the less common types of cancer affecting approximately 2000 people each year. It develops when the linings of the lungs or the abdomen start to grow in a rapid and uncontrollable way.  This cancer is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos particles and therefore has been nicknamed asbestos cancer. When it affects the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum) it is referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. In this article we will be discuss three (3) common symptoms for mesothelioma cancer and share the steps you should take when you notice any of these.

The peritoneum (lining of the abdomen) actually has two layers; the inner (visceral) layer which is beside the abdominal organs and the outer (parietal) layer which is next to the abdominal wall.

One of the functions of the peritoneum is to secrete a lubricating fluid to allow the abdominal organs to move against one another. When peritoneal mesothelioma occurs it leads to both of these layers becoming thicker. This can then lead to a number of undesirable symptoms including:

    1. ASCITES – As the inner and outer layers of the peritoneum become thicker, lubricating fluid can become trapped in this area. This can then lead to a build up of fluid which is referred to as ascites. Ascites can lead to swelling in the abdomen and also cause abdominal pain as the build up of fluid causes the peritoneum to press against the abdominal organs.
    2. ABDOMINAL PAIN – As peritoneal mesothelioma develops and the tumour increases in size it can start to press against the abdominal organs. This often causes abdominal pain and discomfort. As discussed above ascites (another peritoneal mesothelioma symptom) can also lead to abdominal pain.
    3. POOR BOWEL FUNCTIONING – As the tumour increases in size or the ascites cause further swelling the intestines can become blocked. This can make it difficult to excrete waste from the body and also lead to further bowel problems.

When you discover any symptoms similar to those discussed above you should consult your doctor immediately. Upon seeing your doctor you should inform them of the symptoms you have experienced and also tell them if you have previously been in contact with asbestos. Once your doctor has this information they will be able to perform the required tests and determine whether you have peritoneal mesothelioma. Following this they can then discuss the relevant treatment options with you if necessary.

Mesothelioma is one of the rarest types of cancer. In most cases these symptoms will turn out to be something much less serious. However, by seeing your doctor you can get a professional opinion on whether you have, or do not have,  mesothelioma. When you have had persistent abdominal pains, your abdomen has become swollen or you have had regular bowel problems go see your doctor immediately!

This information is intended for general use only, while every effort has been made to make it accurate and informative.  Mesothelioma is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.  

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