Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer is caused by microscopic particles of asbestos, primarily ingested by breathing the contaminated dust of construction sites, manufacturing plants, and automotive shops of decades ago. These particles migrate into the extremities of the lungs and penetrate the tissue, traveling into the protective sac that encloses the organs of the chest and abdomen, called the peritoneum.
The asbestos fiber can lay dormant for as long 50 years without causing any notice and then it can flourish as a cancerous growth. Unfortunately, this cancer produces scarcely any symptoms until in is quite advanced. Early detection is usually the result of scans taken for reasons other than diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma.
The peritoneal Mesothelioma can grow until other functions are impaired, such as digestion and breathing. It may grow to extend the abdomen both by tumor growth and by the accumulation of fluid. Peritoneal mesothelioma can cause discomfort, gas, and pain. As these symptoms increase to a level that the patient is concerned, the cancer has likely advanced to a stage that the prognosis is poor.
The presence of peritoneal mesothelioma may be determined by an x ray, or ct scan, but the proper diagnosis requires a biopsy that removes a specimen of tumor tissue for pathological evaluation. This can be done with a ‘needle biopsy’ performed by manipulating a needle in order to gather tumor tissue. The best specimen is gotten with surgical removal of a selected portion of the tumor for study.
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