Peritoneal Mesothelioma: A Rare Disease

The peritoneum, or abdominal cavity, is the second most common site of origin of mesothelioma after the pleura. However, there only about 400 new cases of peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosed each year. Since the annual incidence of new cases is low, more clinical research has been focused on pleural mesothelioma, which makes up the majority of new mesothelioma diagnoses. Consequently, very little is known about peritoneal mesothelioma.

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Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Outcomes

In a 2009 study titled Malignant abdominal mesothelioma: defining the role of surgery, researchers reviewed data from The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) databases from 1973 to 2005. They identified 10,589 cases of malignant mesothelioma, 9,211 of which were pleural and 1,112 that were peritoneal.

They observed that patients with pleural mesothelioma had a more localized disease than those with peritoneal. In addition, peritoneal mesothelioma:

  • Affected younger patients (average age 63 years old)
  • Had an overall survival rate of 13 months for women
  • Had an overall survival rate of 6 months for men
  • Had a better prognosis in patients who underwent a successful surgical removal of the tumor

Peritoneal Mesothelioma with Typical Symptoms

Most patients do not present with any specific symptoms. Those who do have symptoms typically experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased girth around the abdomen
  • Distention of the abdomen
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems

Rarely is system-wide metastasis of the lymph nodes a symptom when the patient first presents, however, there have been instances in which peritoneal mesothelioma patients presented with only this symptom. Instances like this point to why relying on symptoms to diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma is extremely difficult.

A Florida Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Study

Just like pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma needs more than one form of treatment. In a study titled Peritoneal cystic mesothelioma: successful treatment of a difficult disease, two surgeons from the Urology Department at the Jacksonville, Florida facility of the Mayo Clinic reported on a case of peritoneal mesothelioma that had been operated on several times unsuccessfully, meaning there was a recurrence of the cancer after each surgical procedure.

In the case study, sclerosive therapy with tetracycline was used in conjunction with the surgery. The antibiotic tetracycline is administered because its high level of acidity results in inflammation that causes scarring that fills the area where the tumor originated. A follow up after four years showed there was no recurrence of the tumor, suggesting that surgical removal with secondary sclerosive therapy is an alternative to radical surgery and may decrease the incidence of recurrence in some cases of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Contact our Florida peritoneal mesothelioma attorneys today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to determine if you are entitled to compensation from negligent employers who turned a blind eye toward asbestos in the workplace.