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Abdominal Mesothelioma Cancer Explained

Abdominal mesothelioma is the least common form of the three types of mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure. It is, however, just as deadly as other forms of mesothelioma and is usually at or near the end stage when diagnosed.

This type of cancer is also known as peritoneal mesothelioma, affects the peritoneum, the thin membrane lining the abdominal cavity and surrounding the organs of the abdomen such as the liver, stomach and intestines.

Symptoms of Abdominal Mesothelioma

Just as with other forms of asbestos cancer, symptoms of mesothelioma in the lining of the abdominal area often dont become obvious until the disease is relatively advanced. Diagnosis is further complicated because it occurs in less than 30% of all cases of this form of mesothelioma cancer. Looking out for these symptoms can help ensure an earlier diagnosis and treatment of abdominal asbestos cancer in those who have been exposed to asbestos:

  • Abdominal pain, particularly pain that comes and goes and lasts for a long period of time
  • Unusual weakness in the abdominal area
  • Loss of weight and/or loss of appetite that isnt explained by other illnesses
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal swelling or bloating caused by either a mass or retention of fluid in the abdominal cavity

Four out of five patients diagnosed with abdominal or peritoneal mesothelioma are men in their fifties or older, although this may be tied to the greater number of men who have been exposed to asbestos compared to women.

Treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

As in most cases of asbestos related cancer, a combination of treatments is usually called for. This may include surgical removal of the cancerous mass or cancerous tissue, draining of fluid in the abdominal cavity, chemotherapy or radiation treatments or some combination of these treatments. In most cases, mesothelioma treatment options are aimed at prolonging life and improving the comfort of the patient. Rarely do patients live more than five years after diagnosis, and in the most advanced cases treatment may be limited to providing relief of symptoms.

If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and have various symptoms of abdominal distress, see a doctor for tests such as CT scans and, if needed, a biopsy to determine whether you have abdominal mesothelioma.

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