What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer?

Today, peritoneal mesothelioma has emerged as a rare entity in many countries. The highest rates reported lately are in some industrialized countries like New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom while the lowest rates of this malignant have been identified in Slovenia, Japan and other countries in central Europe. Meanwhile, in the United States, incidence in the middle range has been reported.

What is peritoneal mesothelioma?

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a deadly cancer found in the tissue close to the abdominal organs. It is one of the most common types of mesothelioma alongside pleural mesothelioma. Other cases which have been reported are those of pericardial and testicular mesothelioma. Tumors of this rare cancer forms in the mesothelium. This is a thin membrane that covers the outer surface of almost every part of our body organs. The mesothelium has different names in different parts of the body. For example, in the tummy, it is referred to as peritoneum.

The peritoneum has an inner and outer layer. The peritoneum protects the organs in the abdomen. When mesothelioma develops in the peritoneum, the layers of the peritoneum thickens. Some fluid collects between the thick layers. Mesothelioma can be divided into three main types. They include:

  • Epitheloid. It is arguably the most common mesothelioma.
  • Sarcomatoid. It is characterized by fibrous like structures.
  • Mixed, also biphasic. It has both sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells.

It is mainly caused by indigestion of asbestos fibers in the body.

 What are the signs of peritoneal cancer?

In its early stages, detecting peritoneal cancer is not an easy task. Its symptoms are very hard to pinpoint. Clear signs often occur when the disease has progressed. Many of these symptoms are as a result of a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. The most common signs of peritoneal cancer include:

1. Indigestion and bloating.

Indigestion is often a sign of an underlying problem such as ulcers and gallbladder diseases. Usually, it is defined as recurrent or a persistent discomfort that often occurs in the upper abdomen. Some of the symptoms of indigestion include; acidic taste, bloating and growling sound in the stomach. Therefore, if you are experiencing some symptoms of indigestion, make an effort of consulting your doctor.

2. Unreasonable weight gain or loss.

If you are taking more and more calories every day or failing to exercise, you would not be overwhelmed when you start gaining weight. But what if you gain weight though you have not changed your day to day lifestyle. It would be the time to seek medical attention so that you can know what is really happening within your body.

3. Bleeding in the digestive tract.

It mainly happens due to certain conditions that can be controlled. The cause of the bleeding may not be serious at first sight, but it would be better if you visit medical personnel. Bleeding can come from either colon or the small intestine. Surprisingly, it can also originate from small areas like ulcers or inflammation of the colon.

4. Constipation.

Constipation means that you have a problem when emptying your bowels. Almost everyone has gone through this at some point in their lives. Though it is not so serious, you will feel you are much better if you are not experiencing this problem. The length of time in bowel movements varies from one person to another. Others may take just several times a week while others may experience it three times a day. Here are some of the symptoms of constipation.

  • Abnormal hard or small stools.
  • Few bowel movements.
  • Straining to empty your bowels.

5. Frequent urination.

Here the bladder is unable to store urine for quite a long time. Frequent urination is a clear sign of mesothelioma cancer.

6. Nausea and regular vomiting.

Nausea is simply an uneasiness of the stomach that often comes before vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of this type of cancer.

 What are the first signs of peritonitis?

The initial signs of peritonitis depend on the underlying cause of your infection. Today, the most common symptoms of peritonitis include:

  • Pain in the abdomen that gets most serious when you walk. Abdominal pain is a pain that occurs between the chest and the pelvic regions. It can either be achy, dull or sharp. Diseases that affect the abdomen mainly cause it.
  • Point tenderness in your abdomen. It is when the pressure in the abdomen causes pain. You may also have a feeling of sore and tenderness. If you have such disorder, then it is advisable to report to the nearest health facility as an emergency. Untreated abdominal point tenderness can be life-threatening.
  • Excessive thirst. It is very normal to feel thirst, but sometimes your thirst is stronger than usual even if you drink a lot of water or juice. You may even experience continuous blurred vision and fatigue.
  • Fever. Scientifically, it is known as hyperthermia. In a common language, it is when the body temperature is higher than normal. It can affect adults and children.
  • Fatigue. In simple terms, it is the overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Therefore, if you lack motivation feel free to ask for medication.

What causes peritoneal mesothelioma?

This condition is caused by longtime exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a popular industrial material mined from the ground. It is used abundantly in constructions companies. It is a very harmful substance classified as a human carcinogen. Despite being aware of its dangers, unethical manufacturers have continued to use asbestos. This has put their workers in a risk of getting peritoneal mesothelioma. The main dangers of this dangerous material are its composition. It contains microscopic particles that cannot be destructed. If you drink water that contains these deadly fibers unknowingly, you will be at high risk.

 How do you diagnose peritonitis?

Your doctor will have a conversation with you about your medical history. In case peritonitis arises from fluid buildup in your abdominal cavity, your doctor may recommend the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Imaging test. In this test, doctors use an X-ray to check whether there are holes in the gastrointestinal tract. Also, Ultrasound may be used.
  • Fluid analysis. If you have fluid in your lower abdomen, the doctor will take a sample of the fluid in your paracentesis.

What is the Stage 4 of peritoneal cancer?

In stage 4, the tumor is completely metastasized to organs in the abdomen. It then spread to other parts such as longs and livers.

 Can peritoneal mesothelioma be cured?

Mesothelioma specialist often relies on the three standards of treatments. Mostly, these treatments are known as multimodal treatments. They have the best effect on patient prognosis. In recent times, immunotherapy has also been studied to determine the effectiveness of treating mesothelioma. For peritoneal mesothelioma patients, there are two types of curative treatment. They are combined to bring the best treatment.

 How long can you live with peritoneal cancer?

If it is not promptly treated, the median survival time for a patient is seven weeks. Survival time may gradually increase if there is adequate time for treatment. Cancer reduces the quality of life you live. After an operation, the quality of life reduces but after six months it increases.

 What is the best treatment for peritoneal cancer?

Treatment of peritoneal cancer depends on the stage. The exact stage may not be known by the patients who did not have surgery at the start of their treatment. Other factors that could play a major role in determining the best treatment option is whether you plan to have children or any other related consideration. Nowadays, chemotherapy is the most reliable treatment used.

 What is the survival rate for peritoneal cancer?

Most patients can survive for up to 5 years if cancer has spread to many body parts. Though the survival rates peritoneal cancer are based on those of ovarian and fallopian cancer, they are somehow related.

 Can Mesothelioma be cured if caught early?

Although up to date there is no specific treatment for mesothelioma, if their disease is noticed early enough, there are several treatment options which can be used to improve the health of the patient.

 Is peritoneal cancer painful?

Peritoneal cancer brings about swelling, indigestion, and pain from the gas. The sensation of this pain is accompanied by changes in the expression of substance P and also receptors in the spinal cord.

 Is peritoneal cancer genetic?

It is not directly hereditary cancer, but the risks of its development are increased if the person has some mutations in their genetic makeup.

 How dangerous is peritonitis?

As inflammation of the peritoneum, the tissue that lines the inner wall of the lower abdomen supports most of the abdominal pains. If the problem persists, it can fail somebody organs and also death. It a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.

 Is peritonitis an emergency?

As a serious health disorder, peritonitis needs a quick medical treatment from specialists. Failure to that, it can cause other serious problems like burst appendix and perforated stomach.

 What type of cancer is peritoneal?

It is very similar to epithelial cancer. This is because the surface of the ovary is made of epithelial cells. It mainly originates from the peritoneum.

 How long can you live after being diagnosed?

Studies show that many patients can survive for up to 6 years. However, those who have the cytoreduction can live longer than that. Cytoreduction significantly increases the survival rate.


It has not yet been scientifically proved that asbestos is the only substance that causes peritoneal mesothelioma. Other factors which are believed to contribute in the high rate of these cases include; exposure to radiation, thorium, and mica. Though chemotherapy has become the consensus standard first-line therapy for this disease, it is not without its complications. It can lead to mortality and morbidity. Investigations into this fatal disease are underway and are very promising in providing better survival for this disease which is currently killing many peoples due to its extensive spread.


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