Friday, January 6, 2017

Symptoms of Mesothelioma You Shouldn't Ignore

Guest Post by, Mesothelioma Treatment Community

The new year is a good time to be proactive in assessing our overall health, including getting a physical exam and addressing concerns we may have when it comes to any pain, discomfort, or abnormal changes in our body. Some diseases can be overlooked but needs to be caught early for higher chances of successful treatment. You never know if symptoms are actually signs of a life-threatening disease, which is why I want to welcome a guest writer today who is sharing a disease that is commonly misdiagnosed: Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Health, Wellness, Cancer

Thank you to Ashley Stafford and the Mesothelioma Treatment Community for sharing this informative article today. Treat Mesothelioma are a passionate volunteer group with the sole purpose of raising mesothelioma awareness and saving lives. Their mission is to make more people aware of mesothelioma. "People hear about mesothelioma all the time but don't necessarily know that every single one of us is susceptible to developing it."

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms


Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms mimic symptoms of other abdominal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, hernia and ovarian cancer. This makes diagnosing this disease during its early stages very difficult. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the peritoneum or the abdominal lining. It is the second most common form of mesothelioma after pleural mesothelioma. The rates of peritoneal cancer incidences vary. However, peritoneal mesothelioma is found in 10 to 20% of all diagnoses of malignant mesothelioma. 

Peritoneum functions

Since peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, most of its symptoms affect the abdominal region and nearby cell functions and organs. As mentioned before, peritoneum refers to the lining of the abdominal cavity. This fluid-sac filled tissue lining is responsible for secreting the fluid that increases movement while reducing friction in the midsection organs. 

The peritoneum consists of two types of lining. These are the parietal peritoneum and visceral peritoneum.  
- Parietal peritoneum protects and covers the whole abdominal cavity
- Visceral peritoneum lines the internal organs. Visceral peritoneum makes up the largest part of the outer intestinal tract layer. 
I know all there are a lot of big words and it maybe a little difficult to follow but try to imagine where the linings are instead of the name itself.  This helps to paint a picture in your minds eye and tends to aid in the understanding of medical terms.

Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma

General abdominal pain is the most common peritoneal mesothelioma symptom. This symptom is caused when a tumor begins developing in the peritoneum. By having the tumor begin to grow here is a complete invasion and obstruction of natural cell functions within the body.  The lining of the abdomen is pretty elastic as it capable of expanding as blood and fluids are filtered in and out of the abdomen. The abdominal pain occurs because the cancerous tumor interferes with the elasticity of peritoneum disallowing the filtering of abdominal cavity fluids.

  •   Shortness of breath and coughing
  •   Weight loss
  •   Anemia
  •   Fatigue
  •   Digestive disturbances
  •   Loss of appetite
  •   Fluid pockets or ascites
  •   Blood clots
  •   Seizures
  •   Nausea
  •   Abdominal tissue lumps

How Peritoneal Mesothelioma Is Actually Detected

Since mesothelioma is so hard to diagnose, how or when does a patient or doctor finally realize that they all the symptoms are because of mesothelioma?  Good thing you asked…
The patients usually go in for a general checkup and complain about non-specific pains and symptoms to their doctor. The patient might assume the worst but the worst is usually discarded as a family physician would naturally suspect a common illness like stomachaches, hernia, or a gall bladder infection.  Once these are all ruled out, other less common tests are included in the study.  
Mesothelioma spreads to other organs via the lymphatic system and it is this metastasis trend that often makes its discovery or diagnosis possible. There are cases where the patients experience mesothelioma symptoms for periods of six months to two years without the doctor being able to find the actual problematic source.

Please understand that during this period, the disease goes untreated until and is reaching severe advanced stages.  That is why it is so important to know whether or not you have been exposed to asbestos before.  This vital piece of knowledge can lead to 10+ years of life since the cancer was caught in the early development stages

Peritoneal Mesothelioma In It’s Most Sever Stage

While there is no exact ruling on how to measure the mesothelioma stages, doctors use 4 stages as indicators to help better explain to each other and to patients the severity of the cancer. Stage 4 peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include an increased blood-clotting tendency and bowel obstruction. When a blood test is done, the results indicate an increase in platelet count. Low albumin levels and anemia are also common symptoms in this stage of peritoneal mesothelioma as well. When doctors obtain results indicating these types of levels, they know there is something more serious at hand.  If you feel you have ever been exposed to asbestos at some point in your life, now is the time to speak up and talking with a mesothelioma specialist is the absolute best starting point.


Thanks again to the Mesothelioma Treatment Community for the guest post today and all the helpful information. Watch this YouTube video to find out more about Mesothelioma.

Pass this on to generate awareness about this commonly overlooked disease. Share this with someone you know who may work around asbestos including in and around homes and automobiles.

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