Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment and Information – A Different kind

Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the abdominal lining and is a scarce form of malignant cancers affecting lesser number of people than pleural mesothelioma. The peritoneum is made up of two parts such as visceral peritoneum that covers the internal organs and parietal peritoneum that covers the abdominal cavity. The cells in these two layers secrete fluid that helps in the movement of organs inside the abdomen. However, if the cells become malignant it overproduces causing excess fluid in the abdomen. It is widely believed that, risk factor associated with peritoneal mesothelioma is asbestos. Asbestos particles make their entry into the body either by ingestion or inhalation and reaches peritoneum by the lymphatic system causing malignancy of the cellular lining of abdomen.

The early signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma include:

* Increased weight loss due to low intake of food

* Night sweats often accompanied with fever

* Increased abdominal girth coupled with bouts of abdominal pain and indigestion

* Extreme fatigue, fever and anemic condition

Tests and Diagnoses:

Based on symptoms doctors cannot ascertain presence of peritoneal mesothelioma but goes for medical investigations ranging from x-rays to CT scans to MRI. These imaging tests and studies help in the detection of the disease and also aids in knowing the stage and metastases of the cancer.

But, it is the biopsy that ultimately proves the disease- either a fluid aspiration biopsy or a tissue biopsy. If the cancer is detected early it helps to cure it faster because as the cancer advances to travel peritoneal mesothelioma the cancer cells move into other body parts in addition.

Treatment Methods:

The disease is very difficult to diagnose at early stages. One of the approaches is intra-peritoneal chemotherapy. In this method of treatment, following surgery, drugs are induced directly into the abdomen. In some situations, radiation therapy is done to spread the tumors before surgery is done.

But, it is the cytoreductive surgery called debulking that is done. Although surgery is considered to be the first line of treatment however it is not done for all patients. If the patients’ physical health is failing, a surgical operation is enervating. In these situations, it is the palliative approach that works best. This therapy, simply works to reduce symptoms and enhance the quality of life for the patients with chemotherapeutic drugs.

High-energy radiation is also used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma, but is not used alone. Radiation therapy is mostly followed by surgery and use of palliative

Chemotherapy drugs.

Latest Advancements:

There are current clinical trials and experiments such as immunotherapy, gene therapy and usage of antiangiogenesis drugs for treating the cancer. Multi-modality approach often proved to be useful in certain situations and intracavitary chemotherapy and radiation therapy are subjects of further research and tests.

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