The Basics of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The Basics of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Approximately 20 percent of cancers caused by asbestos are peritoneal mesothelioma. This form of the cancer manifests itself in the mesothelial cells of the abdomen when the asbestos fibers become embedded in the space between the cells. It can take as many as 20 to 50 years for the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma to appear. Over these years, the asbestos fibers irritate the parietal layer that covers the stomach cavity and they begin to produce cancer cells. Fluid builds up and tumors eventually form.

What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are swelling and pain in the abdomen, diarrhea or constipation, unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and the appearance of lumps under the skin in the abdominal area.

How is It Treated?
Since this type of cancer is usually diagnosed very late in its development, a positive mesothelioma prognosis is not likely, and treatment options are limited. Chemotherapy and radiation are typically used to threat the cancer, along with medication to provide pain relief. For many patients, surgery is not an option because at the point of discovery, the cancer has already spread too far and the patient’s poor health may make him or her too weak to recover from the trauma of surgery.

How Does Exposure to Asbestos Cause Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
It is believed that there are two ways that asbestos can get into your system.

1. They can be ingested and then and consequently move through the digestive system into the peritoneal lining.

2. Asbestos fibers can be inhaled and travel to the peritoneal lining through the fluids in the lymphatic system.

Once these fibers get into the system, they become trapped and the body has no way to drive them out.

How Does Someone Get Exposed to Asbestos?
There is no test or conclusive way to find out if you have been exposed to asbestos. The only thing you can do is to review your life’s history and current living conditions to know if you’ve ever been at risk for exposure to asbestos. Here are a few of the risk factors. 

Living in an area where asbestos occurs naturally is one factor. Small particles of asbestos can get airborne, making it easy for you to inhale them. You can contact the health department where you live to find out if asbestos is in the local environment.  There used to be many industries that used asbestos regularly. If you ever worked in such a facility, you could have been exposed to it. It is also possible that you may have carried the asbestos fibers home to your family.  Before 1978, a lot of electrical wiring was insulated with asbestos. Asbestos was also woven into clothes and gloves that were worn by those regularly exposed to heat and fire.  Buildings and homes built before 1978 were frequently constructed using material with asbestos in them. Since asbestos is a good insulator, it was often used in floor and ceiling tiles, along with shingles and roofing paper. If any of these things were ever damaged, asbestos fibers could have become airborne.

Asbestos.Net is focused on bringing an easy to use and extremely informative website to those searching for information on asbestos cancer and mesothelioma. With informative videos and accurate, oncologist reviewed articles, we trust you will find this to be a true resource. Please visit www.asbestos.net for more information


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Construction Industry – Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma www.mesorc.com The construction industry has been central to the growth and advancement of any society. The people who make this progress possible through their hard work face many forms of danger at their jobs. The carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers and others, who make up the construction industry, face safety issues including falls, noise, heavy lifting, and machinery operation. However, one of the deadliest occupational hazards facing construction workers flew under the radar for years. This was the presence of asbestos at job sites. Asbestos, a mineral common in many building products, can release fibers and dust into the air when disturbed. When inhaled, an asbestos exposure can lead to a number of health problems. These include asbestosis and the following cancers: mesothelioma, lung, esophageal, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal. Construction Jobs at High Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Asbestos, a naturally occurring substance, was used in many construction materials because of its resistance to heat, electrical and chemical damage, sound absorption and tensile strength. One way asbestos fibers could be disturbed into the air at a construction site was when these materials were cut, shaved or ground to fit specific dimensions. This left every worker on a job site at risk for asbestos exposure, and not just those working directly with the materials. The following construction

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