Dallas, TX: The peritoneal type of cancer is found in 10% to 20% of the total Mesothelioma patients. The disease attacks the organs, protected by the mesothelium of the abdominal organs and the abdominal cavity.
Like all other cancers, peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by the exposure to asbestos. Similarly, its latency period is very long, ranging from 20 to 40 years, after which the symptoms appear.
The following is the description from the onset of the asbestos to the development of the symptoms ,the treatment and the prognosis of the peritoneal cancer.
The appearance of its symptoms: After the inhaling or the swallowing of asbestos, this mineral follows the tract of the abdominal cavity, and sticks to the related organs or tissues, for the development of cancer.
After crossing the dormant period of two to four decades, the disease activates. The common normal cells of the abdominal cavity stop their growth and development, and start dividing, without any control. This additional cell grows uncontrollable, and the peritoneum thickens, resulting in the growth of cancerous tumors. The abdominal fluid also starts producing. The organs of the cavity now keep floating in this fluid.
Lumps appear on the skin under the abdomen, weight loss, constant abdominal and back pain, fever, fatigue and nausea are the main features.
The analysis and diagnosis of these symptoms: After the study of these symptoms, the examination of the patient’s physical condition, his medical history, pathological tests with emphasis on the fluid and the cancerous tissues, are conducted,
CT Scans, x-rays and biopsy tests are performed to confirm the cancerous growth, its localization, its spread, and its advancement. After the study of these tests, the line of treatment is determined.
The line of treatment: If the cancerous growth is localized, the tumor cells or the infected organ are removed surgically. The therapy of radiation and chemotherapy are usually combined together for the treatments where the growth has spread to the neighboring areas,
Sometimes, the patients, on their own will and desire, undergo some new therapies and clinical trial for the reduction of pain and other miseries, and find comfort and relaxation. Yet, there are others, who are too weak to have surgery, take the choice of the palliative system of treatment, and get relief from pain and physical stress .
Prognosis for the peritoneal cancer: Factors like the advancement of the disease, the age of the patient, location of the tumors and the development of the other symptoms, help the doctors to suggest a prognosis,
10% of such patients, with a comparative better physique and controlled cell growth, can survive for five years, after diagnosis. 40% of the total peritoneal patients have a survival chance of 6-12 months.
Till 1990 the mesothelioma cancer prognosis was very low, and it was rare for a patient to survive for more than one year. The new treatments are increasing the survival rate, although at present the average prognosis is about a year.