Peritoneal mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer
There are several types of the mesothelioma, including "peritoneal mesothelioma", which develops in the tissue that forms the lining of the abdomen. Less than 30% of all mesothelioma cases are peritoneal.
This cancer is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, often in an industrial work environment. Asbestos was used in many products because it resists heat, is flexible and does not burn. These properties made asbestos suitable for applications, such as brakes, tiles and roofing shingles. But as a consequence, people who are commonly diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma are workers that include: mechanics, construction workers, sheet metal workers and electricians.
Primary Cause of Peritoneal Mesothelioma is Asbestos Exposure
These workers inhale asbestos fibers during the course of their work because they disturb asbestos-containing products. That occurs through work activities like cutting and drilling certain building materials. People who work with asbestos products routinely cut, hammer or otherwise disturb those products to trigger the release of asbestos fibers. Asbestos fibers are not visible to the human eye and remain in the air for extended periods. As a result, they are inhaled by people nearby. Inhaled asbestos fibers become trapped in the body and lead to asbestos cancers such as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma
The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, altered bowel habits e.g. diarrhea or constipation, formation of lumps of tissue in the abdomen, unexplained weight loss and fever. Symptoms appear 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos has occurred.
It is important to understand that peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare condition. Further, the symptoms are not unique to that disease but may be indicative of other illnesses. Thus, it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma.
Other Possible Causes
While asbestos exposure is the primary cause of peritoneal mesothelioma, there are other causes of the cancer. Some studies have shown that the radioactive substance thorium dioxide can lead to peritoneal mesothelioma. From the 1920s to the 1950s, thorium dioxide was used in conjunction with x-rays to diagnose various health problems. Use of thorium dioxide was discontinued when its cancer-causing nature was discovered.
Diagnostic techniques for peritoneal mesothelioma vary in the degree of bodily intrusion. Some diagnostic techniques are X-rays, CT scans, needle biopsy and open biopsy. A needle biopsy involves making a small cut through which a tiny camera is inserted for investigative purposes. If abnormalities are found, sample tissue is withdrawn for testing for peritoneal mesothelioma. An open biopsy is the more common diagnostic technique. It involves the surgical removal of abnormal tissue for study.
Treatment options include: chemotherapy, radiation, photodynamic therapy (PDT), surgery and immunotherapy. These treatment approaches work best when applied during the early stages of mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to fight mesothelioma cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be effective even if the peritoneal mesothelioma has spread to areas of the body that are far from the point of origin. Chemotherapy involves the use of a drug regimen i.e., a treatment schedule. Side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, low red blood cell count and low white blood cell count.
Radiation therapy uses a type of energy known as ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy works by damaging the genetic material of targeted cancer cells.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a light source that emits light of a particular wavelength to treat cancer. Photodynamic therapy requires the use of a drug known as a photosensitizer. When the light makes contact with the photosensitizer, it produces a form of oxygen that kills cancer cells. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) may not be effective where the peritoneal mesothelioma tumor is too large or where the cancer has spread too significantly. Side effects of photodynamic therapy (PDT) include skin discoloration, cold sore, and scarring.
Immunotherapy involves manipulating the immune system of a cancer patient so that it attacks cancer cells. Ordinarily, the immune system only attacks substances that are foreign to the body. Because mesothelioma cancer cells are produced within the body of a person suffering from the disease, the cells are not considered foreign. The goal of immunotherapy is to make mesothelioma cancer cells appear foreign to the immune system so that they are attacked.
Steps to take After Being Diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma
At the age of 60, a former New Yorker commercial painter faced the prospect of living with peritoneal mesothelioma instead of enjoying retirement after a lifetime of hard work. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer caused by occupational exposure to asbestos. The painter chose a Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma lawyer to help him obtain compensation from the asbestos product manufacturers responsible for his condition.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, you should follow the treatment regimen recommended by your doctor. In addition, you should contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to learn about your legal rights. Many people suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma developed the cancer because they were recklessly exposed to asbestos by companies in the asbestos industry. Many companies knew of the lethal dangers of asbestos but chose to conceal them for the sake of profits.
Weitz & Luxenberg has obtained millions of dollars for clients suffering from asbestos-related cancers, such as peritoneal mesothelioma. The firm's clients include former mechanics, construction workers, electricians and other retired workers who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. If you or a loved one is suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma or another asbestos cancer, please complete the form on this page to receive a free and prompt case review.
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