Abdominal mesothelioma, also known as peritoneal mesothelioma, is one form of a rare asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma.
The abdominal mesothelioma, as the name suggests, is a cancer of the tissues in the abdominal cavity. Abdominal mesothelioma generally affects men ages 50-70, although women make up about one-fifth of all abdominal mesothelioma cases.
Abdominal mesothelioma is an aggressive but rare malignancy that principally affects the pleura and peritoneum. The pleura and peritoneum are lining that cover the lung (pleura) and the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).
Abdominal Mesothelioma Symptoms Include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling due to fluid accumulation
- Weight loss
- Loss of Appetite
- Bowel Obstruction
- Breathing Difficulties
Abdominal mesothelioma patients with these symptoms should schedule further examinations to search for other abdominal mesothelioma signs. If an X-ray or CT scan indicates signs that the you indeed may have abdominal mesothelioma, a biopsy is conducted, allowing the physician to determine the malignancy level.
Abdominal Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma Treatment
Treatment for abdominal mesothelioma using conventional therapies has not proved successful and patients have a median survival time of 6 - 18 months depending on which stage (1-4) the mesothelioma cancer has progressed.
Research into new and more effective treatments for abdominal mesothelioma is ongoing. There is no cure as yet for abdominal mesothelioma. The standard treatments that attempt to hold back the progression of this cancer are:
- Surgery — to remove part of all of the affected body tissues
- Radiation therapy — to target and kill the mesothelioma cells
- Chemotherapy — the use of drugs, injected or taken orally, to kill or stop the growth of the cancer cells
Abdominal Mesothelioma treatment depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
Abdominal mesothelioma treatment will be determined by the doctor and patient, taking into account the stage of the abdominal mesothelioma, the location and sizes of any tumors, and the age and health of the patient.
Doctors have two theories on how asbestos fibers enter the peritoneum. The first theory is that the asbestos fibers are trapped by the mucus in the trachea or bronchi and eventually swallowed. The second theory is that asbestos fibers stuck in the lungs eventually move into the lymphatic system and are transferred to the peritoneum.
Abdominal Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Diagnosis of Abdominal Mesothelioma is based on a pathological exam, more commonly referred to as a biopsy. This exam will test a tissue sample for the presence of malignant and/or pleural mesothelioma.
Abdominal Mesothelioma diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos is a common theme in diagnosing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma diagnosis is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions.
Abdominal Mesothelioma diagnosis includes a physical examination followed by chest X-rays and a CT scan, and confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination.
To diagnose abdominal mesothelioma a thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) is used to do a biopsy. Individuals with pleural mesothelioma may accumulate some fluid between the lung lining and chest cavity. This can be detected through a chest x-ray, as well as CT scans.
Abdominal mesothelioma has a very high mortality rate, and in many cases, diagnosis occurs when the abdominal mesothelioma has already progressed too far. In such cases, all actions focus on making the abdominal mesothelioma as comfortable as possible, often removing portions of the tumor to relieve pressure.
All forms of asbestos-related cancers, including abdominal mesothelioma can be dormant for decades.
Your doctor might also execute peritoneoscopy, which basically means taking a sample of tissue for examination. In this case the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a unique device called peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. This test is called a biopsy.
More extensive tests could take place if the diagnosis turns out to be abdominal mesothelioma. The doctor must know the stage of the cancer and whether it has expanded from its original membrane surface to other parts of the body.
Those dealing with asbestos and mesothelioma face a number of challenges, including the tremendous costs of treatment. If you were unknowingly exposed to harmful levels of asbestos, you have legal rights and there is help available for you.
Deciding which law firm to represent you and your case is very important. Choosing the right law firm will also be important to your settlement. You are entitled to an experienced mesothelioma law firm who has a track record of success in asbestos lawsuits.
It is not uncommon for there to be 10-20 parties that are named in a asbestos lawsuit that are located across the United States. For example, a worker in California may have been exposed to asbestos from asbestos products shipped from Libby, Montana or from an iron ore plant in St. Paul Minnesota. This is why it is very important to obtain an experienced asbestos mesothelioma law firm that knows all of the companies in each state who have responsibility for your asbestos exposure.
If you are a grieving family member or executor of the will of a person who has died from asbestos-related disease or mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a claim as well.
We help with you file Mesothelioma and Asbestos-related claims in each state
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