Abdominal mesothelioma rises from the membrane covering the abdominal cavity wall. That layer of tissue is also called the peritoneum; it is one of several segments of the mesothelium – a layer of tissue that wraps around several organs in the body as well as lining the chest cavity wall and the abdominal cavity wall. Abdominal mesothelioma is also known as peritoneal mesothelioma, accounting for 20 – 25% of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases. The most common form of the disease is pleural mesothelioma which accounts for about 70% of all cases.
Abdominal Mesothelioma Symptoms
The predominant symptoms for abdominal mesothelioma are abdominal swelling and pain in the area. The membrane lining the abdominal wall begins to thicken as mesothelioma develops; in addition there is often an excess of fluid present in the area. Those two factors contribute to the swelling and the abdominal pain. Because of the proximity to the lower gastrointestinal tract this disease may contribute GI problems to the mix of symptoms. Common indicators for abdominal mesothelioma:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Development of lumps beneath the abdominal skin
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Nausea or vomiting
Localized Abdominal Mesothelioma
In the early stages of this disease the malignancy is confined to the abdominal wall. In most cases the disease develops with a diffuse area of small malignant nodes rather than a single tumor. In stage 3 and stage 4 abdominal mesothelioma the disease has spread to nearby lymph nodes or adjacent organs, or both. When this particular form of mesothelioma is treated with surgery the physician may also remove a section of the colon along with malignant tissue from the abdominal wall. This can be a precautionary measure taken because a very high percentage of abdominal mesothelioma cases spread that area.
One of the interesting recent developments that has shown great promise is the use of heated intraoperative intraperitoneal therapy (HIIC). The surgeon removes what malignant tissue he can and then applies heated chemotherapy drugs directly to the afflicted area while the patient is still on the operating table. It appears to be much more effective than chemotherapy applied via infusion.
Advanced Abdominal Mesothelioma
When abdominal asbestos reaches stage four surgery is generally ruled out and most forms of treatment are palliative in nature. The tendency of abdominal mesothelioma to travel to nearby organs makes surgical removal of the malignant tissue impossible. In these instances often radiation will be employed in lieu of chemotherapy for purposes of making the patient comfortable rather than taking an aggressive, curative approach. Patients with stage 4 abdominal mesothelioma survive less than twelve months after diagnosis.
Legal Rights with Abdominal Mesothelioma
There has been hundreds of thousands of personal injury and wrongful death suits filed against corporations that produced asbestos products or used them in their plants. Billions of dollars have been awarded to plaintiffs who developed mesothelioma as the result of on-the-job exposure to asbestos. If you or a family member has abdominal mesothelioma you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today at Flood Law Group LLC.
Treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Sugarbaker Oncology Associates
How is Mesothelioma Staged? American Cancer Society