Because of the constant exposure to toxic materials in the environment, people have now become increasingly at-risk of dangerous cancers. One such disease is peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting
1,000 people every year in the United States
It is a common type of abdominal cancer with slow progress and limited survival rates. It requires immediate treatment and diagnoses to prevent worsening symptoms. Additionally, it’s essential to know about the risk factors and ways to avoid the disease so you can keep your loved ones safe.
Lifestyle changes are also necessary to ensure the treatment works and cancer doesn’t go into remission. Let’s explore everything you need to know about peritoneal mesothelioma.
What is peritoneal mesothelioma?
It is a kind of cancer that forms tumors in the peritoneum – a thin layer on the abdomen. It spreads gradually and may take more than a decade to show the early signs. It is the second most highly occurring mesothelioma cancer with more than 15% diagnosis, amounting to 100,000 people in the US alone. It is far more dangerous than pleural mesothelioma, mainly because abdominal cancers spread quickly.
What are the causes of peritoneal mesothelioma?
The leading cause of peritoneal mesothelioma is long-term asbestos exposure, as people inhale the tiny fibers that lodge in the abdomen lining. Over the years, these fibers turn cancerous. You do have the option to sue your workplace if you hire a good lawyer, to help you cover the expensive treatment costs. You can read more about this condition and the legal course of action here.
Asbestos is found in building items like cement, electrical components, pipes, motors, glues, clotheslines, vinyl tiles, and roof shingles. It is also present in automotive parts such as brakes, clutch, etc. Many household stuff also has a scary amount of asbestos, like curtains, stoves, coffee pots, dishwashers, vinyl floors, and even furnaces. In short, it’s almost impossible to escape the wrath of asbestos with its high occurrence in our environment and the continuous unintentional exposure.
What risk factors lead to peritoneal mesothelioma?
Unacceptable working conditions, particularly for men aged 60 years or more, present a high risk of this disease. However, the condition can also affect women and young adults in the long run. Contaminated water also raises the danger of this fatal cancer. Additionally, you are at increased risk if you don’t use masks while in places with increased asbestos toxicity. If you have peritoneal mesothelioma inside the body and you continue to smoke, it may worsen the condition. Although it isn’t a genetic disease, about 1% of the peritoneal mesothelioma cases are inherited through mutation in the BAP1 gene.
What are the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma?
Symptoms take time to develop, so the progression is slow. However, once you see the symptoms, it’s best to consult a qualified doctor as soon as possible. Following are some subtle signs you shouldn’t ignore:
- Non-explainable fever
- Inflammation in the abdomen
- Sudden weight loss
- Decreased hunger
- Night sweats
- Fluid in the abdomen
- Tumors in the abdomen
- Blood clots
All in all, a one-time diagnosis is crucial if you wish to get better and live a prolonged life. Otherwise, it will continue to damage your organs and spread around, making cancer difficult to contain and treat appropriately.
What are the stages of peritoneal mesothelioma?
There are three main stages of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma:
Stage 1: It is the early stage when the tumors are located only within the peritoneum layer and have not yet passed toward the lymph nodes.
Stage 2: The tumors have increased, but they are still within the abdominal lining. Hence, the lymph nodes are safe.
Stage 3: Cancer has spread into the lymph nodes and crossed the abdominal cover.
What are the treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma?
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries are the most common treatments available. However, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is the best remedy. It is a combination of heated radiation and chemotherapy. Together, they are highly effective against cancer growth. Healthcare professionals might also prescribe some drugs and chemotherapies to ensure no tumors remain by the end.
Some doctors assess with a tool called the peritoneal cancer index, which is beneficial in finding the correct location of tumors. Doctors use it to determine who is more suitable for surgery. If a person has a low index, surgery may be helpful in the removal of cancerous tumors. If the index is high, there are just too many tumors to successfully remove peritoneal mesothelioma.
What to eat if you have peritoneal mesothelioma?
A diet rich in fiber is critical to avoid gut disturbances. Since you might experience a lack of appetite, it’s best to consume hydrating fruits such as apples, bananas, pineapples, berries, etc. Not only they’re packed with water content and fiber, but they’re also rich in antioxidants which are known for their incredible anti-cancerous powers. The treatments would be more effective if you eat these fruits alongside meds. Many vegetables such as spinach and broccoli also have superb nutrients for cancer patients. Drinking lots of water is also necessary because chemotherapy can leave you dehydrated and lethargic.
Life with cancer poses numerous challenges for the patient and the family. It’s a painful condition that causes immense pain and inflammation. You might have to suffer through sleepless nights, irritable bowels, decreased appetite, and lack of energy. It will affect your day-to-day routine and make it impossible to accomplish your tasks. Furthermore, the disease can be challenging to treat.
The options can be expensive. Ideally, you could receive compensation from your workplace owners if you suspect asbestos toxicity at work. Otherwise, a few facilities offer incredible financial plans to ensure you get the best treatment and live a long life.