This book offers help – whether you’re a newly diagnosed mesothelioma patient, a survivor, a friend or a relative. It is written from a medical perspective and gives you authoritative, practical answers to your questions about treatment options, post-treatment quality of life, sources of support, legal options and much more. Get your free.
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Mesothelioma affects everyone – family, friends, and loved ones. If you know someone with this disease, order this free mesobook to get practical answers about treatment options, support, legal options and more. 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma is devoted to providing treatment information for those diagnosed with this disease.
What is the meso book?
It is written from a medical perspective and gives you authoritative, practical answers to your questions about treatment options, post-treatment quality of life, sources of support, legal options and much more. Get your free, no obligation, copy of this book by filling out the contact form, or call us and the meso book will be rushed to you.
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At MesoBook.com, we care about you. You are not alone. We are ready to listen to your needs and to provide you with helpful information related to your mesothelioma diagnosis. 3,000 Diagnosed Annually Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with Mesothelioma each year. We’re Here to Help You Assisting victims & families for over 20 years.
How Do I Know if I Have Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is not easy to diagnose. The disease is often misdiagnosed, especially in the first few visits to a doctor. Doctors may run multiple tests before they settle on a diagnosis. These tests can be expensive and may take weeks to run. The doctors may diagnose other, more common ailments, such as pneumonia. They may prescribe the wrong treatments, such as antibiotics. In the meantime, the real illness, a cancer called mesothelioma, will continue to develop and spread.
An early diagnosis of this deadly cancer is critical. If it is caught at an early stage, there may be better mesothelioma treatment options available.
Doctors may perform a series of tests such as x-rays, CT scans, PET scans, a fluid biopsy (called cytology), and a tumor biopsy to diagnose mesothelioma. The diagnosis will be based on consideration of all tests and the clinical findings of your doctors.
If you are worried that you might have mesothelioma, make sure to tell the doctor about your exposure to asbestos and ask that the doctor test you for it.
If you would like more information about how to diagnose mesothelioma, CLICK HERE to get a free meso book written by medical professionals who have treated this disease.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer found in the lining surrounding the lungs, the stomach, the heart or the testicles. This cancer takes its name from the name that is given to this lining – the mesothelium. There are roughly 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States every year. Currently, the only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Type of Mesothelioma
The cancer starts in the lining around the lungs (called the “pluera”). This is the most common type of mesothelioma.changed the brakes – lined with asbestos – in the family car. This is called secondary exposure to asbestos.
The cancer starts in the lining around the stomach. (Note: This lining extends into the area of the scrotum and xray-bodythere are very rare instances where the cancer starts here. When it does, in men, it is sometimes referred to as “testicular mesothelioma.”)
The cancer starts in the lining around the heart. This type of
mesothelioma is very uncommon.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the abdomen, known as the peritoneum. It is one of several types of cancer linked to asbestos exposure, representing approximately 20% to 25% of the 3,000 cases of mesothelioma cancer diagnosed each year in the United States.
The following information is provided to help you learn more about peritoneal mesothelioma. If you are concerned about mesothelioma, your doctor can evaluate any symptoms you may be experiencing and determine a course of action, if necessary.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
The peritoneum is a thin serous membrane that protects and supports the organs in the abdomen. It is made up of an outer layer (parietal peritoneum), which is attached to the abdominal wall, and an inner layer (visceral peritoneum), which covers the internal organs. A small space between the two layers contains fluid that allows for movement of organs within the abdomen as they function normally.
Peritoneal mesothelioma can take 10 to 60 years after asbestos exposure to exhibit symptoms. Once these symptoms develop, they are often similar to those of common abdominal ailments or discomfort, which makes this cancer difficult to detect. In addition, symptoms typically don’t appear until the cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage.
A common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma is a condition called ascites, in which the body accumulates excess fluid in the abdominal cavity. Individuals with peritoneal mesothelioma may also experience:
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Obstruction of the small or large intestine
- Swelling or thrombosis in the legs
These symptoms could be related to other conditions besides mesothelioma. If you have symptoms that are troublesome or persistent, speak with your doctor.
What Causes This Cancer?
The only known cause of peritoneal mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for decades in a variety of different industries. Many people have been exposed to asbestos in their workplace, home or school; however, individuals working in certain environments have experienced a much higher level of exposure. For example, asbestos has been widely used in manufacturing, construction, shipyards and the military. Because it is heat resistant and particularly strong, asbestos can be found in many construction materials, such as roofing shingles, insulation, cement and flooring products. Heat-resistant fabrics, brake and clutch linings, gaskets and coatings may also contain asbestos.
While it is known that asbestos causes peritoneal mesothelioma, it is unclear how the asbestos fibers reach the peritoneum. This may occur when asbestos fibers are ingested and travel through the intestinal system to the peritoneum. It is also possible that the fibers are inhaled and carried through the lymphatic system. In some cases, mesothelioma found in the peritoneum originated as pleural mesothelioma and spread to the peritoneum. Because the abdominal lining extends into the area of the scrotum in men, there are very rare instances in which the cancer starts there. When it does, it is sometimes referred to as «testicular mesothelioma.»
As these fibers reside in the peritoneum, they can cause irritation that may eventually lead to inflammation and a buildup in the membrane’s fluid. Cells in the peritoneum then may also become abnormal and divide out of control. Tumors growing in the peritoneum, as well as the fluid buildup, then put pressure on the organs in the abdominal cavity.
Diagnosing Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Because symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are often similar to those of more common conditions, it can take several tests for doctors to reach a diagnosis of this cancer. Doctors may start with a review of the patient’s medical history, consider his or her general health, and complete a physical exam to determine if further tests are necessary. If you visit your doctor with concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, be sure to mention if you have been exposed to asbestos.
When further tests are warranted, the next step is likely to take an image of the abdomen, which might include x-rays, a CT scan or a PET scan. These images are helpful in detecting tumors or fluid build-up; however, a fluid or tissue sample is usually necessary to make a definitive diagnosis of mesothelioma.
These images can also help identify which type of peritoneal mesothelioma a patient has developed. The «dry» form is characterized by multiple small masses or one large localized mass, and typically does not cause ascites. The «wet» form typically exhibits small widespread nodules and ascites, with no solid mass.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment Options
A treatment plan for peritoneal mesothelioma may include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, depending on the stage at which the cancer is found and other health factors of the patient. With surgery, doctors try to remove all or as much of the tumor(s) as possible. Because peritoneal mesothelioma may be spread throughout the peritoneum, this can often be difficult to achieve. While there is no cure for peritoneal mesothelioma, a combination of these treatment tools may help prolong the lives of patients and provide relief from the disease’s symptoms. In addition, researchers continue to search for more successful treatments of mesothelioma, and clinical trials are ongoing for additional medications to fight this cancer.
To learn more about peritoneal mesothelioma, call toll free 800.300.1893 or CLICK HERE to receive a free book written by medical professionals who have treated mesothelioma.