Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The ingestion of asbestos fibers causes peritoneal mesothelioma. Another name people call it is abdominal mesothelioma. It develops in the lining of the abdomen called the peritoneum. Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are nausea, stomach pain, and abdominal swelling.

Who Does This Affect/Impact?

Mesothelioma is a disease that impacts men more than women as it's linked to blue-collar jobs until the late 90s. Men over the age of 60 are most at risk for developing mesothelioma. Men who have worked in industries where asbestos was common are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. These industries include, but are not limited to:

Other occupations that put you at high risk for developing mesothelioma include scientists, teachers that taught in older school buildings, and medical professionals.

What are the Complications of Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

There are many complication with this type of mesothelioma. Just some of the complications are listed below.

Heart Disease

With mesothelioma, cancerous cells may spread to the heart through the drainage of fluids. This can cause many types of heart disease as it damages the entirety of the heart and it's surrounding tissue.

Pulmonary Disease

Injury to the lungs from mesothelioma and/or asbestos can cause pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary fibrosis is a scarring of the lungs caused by prolonged exposure to radioactive materials. Pulmonary hypertension is abnormal pressure in the lungs' blood vessels that can cause various health issues, including heart disease and sudden death.

Liver Disease or Cirrhosis

Asbestos exposure and even mesothelioma may cause liver cancer or inflammation.

Colorectal Cancer

An increased risk of colorectal cancer may be associated with mesothelioma and other cancers and diseases that develop from asbestos exposure.

Cancer of Other Organs

In addition to colorectal, peritoneal, and lung cancer, there is an association between mesothelioma and bladder, kidney, and testicular cancers. This association is thought to be due to asbestos exposure and is a secondary malignancy.


Pneumonia can occur in people with mesothelioma, and often. If left untreated it can be critical.

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

While symptoms vary from person to person, you might experience:

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain often occurs in the upper abdomen and may affect the back.

Fluid Accumulation

Due to mesothelioma, fluid accumulation may occur in the stomach, chest, or both. In most cases, this happens in the peritoneal cavity.

Abdominal Swelling (ascites)

Ascites may form in cases where the mesothelioma is in the peritoneal cavity. Ascites are a fluid accumulation in the abdomen, which can cause abdominal swelling. Ascites and mesothelioma may also connect through hydrostatic pressure of the fluid on the chest.


Nausea may occur in either peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma due to respiratory infection or chemotherapy.


In mesothelioma cases, fatigue may occur due to anemia, ascites, and peritoneal irritation.

Weight Loss

Weight loss, in the presence of mesothelioma, is typically caused by anemia. In addition to anemia, weight loss is usually caused by other symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and abdominal pain.


Constipation may be a symptom of mesothelioma due to ascites, ascites, and anemia.


Vertigo is one of many symptoms in cases where mesothelioma. Vertigo is a sensation of spinning and dizziness.

Treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Treatment can include one, some or all of the below.


Surgery may be used to remove small areas of mesothelioma and large masses or treat secondary tumors.


Chemotherapy can treat mesothelioma and other abdominal tumors. Chemotherapy is known to cause side effects such as anemia, fever, and weight loss. This treatment may weaken the immune system, making the patient more susceptible to infections.

Radiation Therapy

Peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma may receive radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is most commonly used to treat large, secondary tumors such as lung cancer. Radiation therapy can also treat mesothelioma alone or in combination with surgery, chemo, or other treatments for this disease.

Myeloablative Therapy (MALT)

MALT is an aggressive type of chemotherapy to treat mesothelioma. This form of therapy makes the immune system deficient, so it has difficulty fighting off infections. This form of chemotherapy is often used in combination with other types of chemotherapy, such as a checkpoint inhibitor, for patients at high risk for relapse.

Diagnosis of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There are many ways to diagnose mesothelioma. Some of the ways are listed below.

Physical examination

A physical exam is performed to evaluate the patient's overall health and identify mesothelioma symptoms. A physical exam can also determine if a tumor is present in the abdomen and can help determine if other tests are necessary to diagnose this disease.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can measure hemoglobin, lymphocytes, sodium, potassium, and glucose levels in the blood. These blood tests can help detect many infections and determine the number of red and white blood cells.

Imaging Tests

X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and MRI scans are some of the imaging tests used by doctors. Imaging tests can help identify the tumor's location, size, shape, and nature. They can also reveal any secondary tumors, fluid collection, and other abnormalities within the abdomen.


Cytology involves the analysis of cells from a sample collected using a cytology brush or a cytosine. Cytology helps to identify cancer cells such as mesothelial cells.


A biopsy may include a small incision to remove a tissue sample from the patient. This tissue sample will help obtain an accurate and detailed diagnosis of abdominal mesothelioma.

Prognosis of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The prognosis for mesothelioma depends on many factors. These factors include the tumor's size and location, whether it has spread, the patient's overall health status, and how advanced the disease is when initially diagnosed.


Peritoneal mesothelioma is aggressive cancer that can affect the abdomen. Diagnosis of this disease is based on imaging tests, cytology, and biopsies. Treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma include radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The prognosis for mesothelioma depends on the tumor's size, location, and whether it has spread beyond the abdomen.

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