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When an Asbestos cancer forms in the Peritoneum, it is called Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The Peritoneum is the lining around the abdomen, where many of the major organs are located. This lining is vulnerable to asbestos fibers puncturing the cell wall and damaging its DNA.

What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a cancer that appears in the abdomen’s lining (the peritoneum). It is also called Abdominal Mesothelioma. It is caused by breathing or swallowing tiny asbestos fibers that travel through the body like bullets in slow motion until they encounter the peritoneal lining. The Asbestos damages the DNA of the lining resulting in cancer.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is diagnosed only a few hundred times each year in the United States. Peritoneal Mesothelioma has more treatment options than some other Mesothelioma types, especially if it is caught early. Some of our clients have lived many years beyond their diagnosis.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos fibers are microscopic and have the appearance of tiny needles. They can get stuck very easily within tissues and cause genetic damage. When ingested, Asbestos fibers travel through the digestive system, and some of them end up in the Peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen).

The fibers have to travels through close to 30 feet of digestive tract, which gives then plenty of opportunities to get stuck. Once the Asbestos barbs are lodged into tissue they move slowly with the force of gravity, and travel through the tissue until they hit the peritoneal lining. Over decades, these fibers irritate the cells and cause fluid buildup and tumor formation.

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The early symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma are non-specific and can be easily confused with other conditions. Those symptoms frequently include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal Pain or Distress
  • Swollen or distended stomach
  • Unexplained weight loss

Since these symptoms are common, Peritoneal Mesothelioma is often only diagnosed once it has already entered Stage 3/Stage 4, meaning it has already metastasized. As Peritoneal Mesothelioma advances, the symptoms become more severe:

  • Accumulation fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites)
  • Increased abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dramatic weight loss and weakness

Early Discovery of Peritoneal Mesothelioma can significantly improve a Mesothelioma patient's prognosis and treatment options. The way to increase the odds of early diagnosis is to make sure your doctor knows your Asbestos exposure history. Keep all annual doctor's wellness visits. If your doctor is aware of your exposure history, they will be more likely to order follow-up testing.

Identifying Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is challenging to identify in its initial stages. It can be hard to visualize on diagnostic scans because it forms on the lining between different types of tissue and may not appear until 12 to 65 years after exposure. The tumor starts out small (and hard to spot) and may avoid detection until it is large enough to be visualized by X-rays or CT scans. Most diagnoses of Peritoneal Mesothelioma are incidental to other complaints. The main symptoms are abdominal discomfort and excess fluid in the abdomen.


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Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment Options

The most common treatments for Peritoneal Mesothelioma are Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Immunotherapy, Palliative Care.

Currently, there are multiple medical procedures to treat Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The most invasive procedure is surgery.

  • Surgical removal of the tumor with a margin of healthy tissue
  • Debulking surgery--treatment goal is to remove as much tumor mass as possible and follow up with chemotherapy or targeted radiation therapy
  • Shrink and resect--treatment goal is to use chemotherapy to reduce the overall tumor mass, reduce vascularization feeding the tumor, and then target for surgical resection
  • Heated chemotherapy is an infusion of chemicals (enhanced with heat) into the abdominal cavity where it can interact directly with the peritoneal lining.
  • Immunotherapy--uses the patient's immune surveillance to attack cancer by forcing the immune system to recognize the enemy.
  • Palliative care--treatment focused on patient comfort.

Due to these treatment advances, the prognosis for Peritoneal Mesothelioma is better than other types of Mesothelioma. Patients have better outcomes and living longer; however, your prognosis also depends on other factors, such as the stage of the disease and age.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Financial Assistance

If you been diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, or if a family member has died from Mesothelioma, Flint Law Firm will be able to help you obtain compensation. The process of maximizing this Asbestos compensation for you and your family can begin in just a few months.

Mesothelioma Compensation

If you or family member have been diagnosed or passed from Mesothelioma, our law firm will start getting you the highest compensation in few month.

Compensation For Family Members of a Mesothelioma Victim

Mesothelioma Compensation For Recently Diagnosed Patients Family Member Passed

Compensation For People Recently Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Compensation For Recently Diagnosed Patients I Was Diagnosed

Peritoneal Mesothelioma FAQs

How Do Asbestos Fibers Get Deep Enough Inside The Body To Cause A Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Asbestos fibers are incredibly lightweight and can float on air currents for weeks at a time in a closed environment like a warehouse or factory. Once they are in the body (breathing or swallowing), the fibers travel through tissue. They are pulled by gravity and our body movements. Because they are needles made of rock, they keep traveling until something resists.

How Did I Get Peritoneal Mesothelioma If I Never Worked Around Asbestos?

It is essential to talk to our experienced lawyers about any possible exposure history. If you are diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, you were exposed to Asbestos. It may be second-hand exposure that was carried on clothing. It could be from cosmetic talc or baby powder contaminated with Asbestos. Only a detailed investigation may reveal the source of your exposure, but Flint Law Firm has the experience to help you figure it out.

Why Did My Stomach Get So Big When I Got Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

When the abdominal cavity is filled with Asbestos fibers, the body reacts by sending additional fluid to relieve the irritation caused by the damage. That fluid (called ascites) can build up so much that the stomach becomes painful and distended. Often that is how Peritoneal Mesothelioma is discovered. Doctors can use a needle biopsy to removed liters of abdominal fluid. The fluid can be spun in a centrifuge to create a fluid biopsy and diagnose cancer.

Article Sources:

Adrianne Andrus

Reviewed by:  Adrienne Andrus
Chief Editor of Flint law Firm LLC
Client Advocate & Product Liability Paralegal since 2015.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, SIU Edwardsville

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