Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer caused from ingesting asbestos particles that subsequently lodge in the mesothelium, the lining that covers most of the abdominal organs.
How Does Asbestos Get Into These Organs?
Asbestos particles can be swallowed by:
- Drinking water that contains particles
- Swallowing secretions that are coughed up from the lungs after inhaling particles
- Eating dirt from food grown in contaminated soil or dropped on the ground
- Touching food or drink with hands contaminated with asbestos
- Asbestos particles that are inhaled may reach the peritoneum via the lymphatic system
The mesothelium has two layers, the parietal layer that forms the peritoneal sac, or peritoneum, within the abdomen, and the visceral layer that wraps around the individual organs within the peritoneum. Mesothelial membranes produce a serous fluid that acts as a lubricant and allows the organs to move freely within this peritoneal sac.
Over time, asbestos particles may cause cell changes, possibly from chronic inflammation that becomes cancerous. Cancerous cells grow at an uncontrolled rate because they are unable to regulate how they divide. Peritoneal mesotheliomacan manifest with thickened membranes, fluid buildup, and tumors.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, and show any of the symptoms listed below, see your doctor for a careful examination and thorough diagnostic testing.
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling caused by fluid buildup
- Abdominal lumps
- Nausea, vomiting
- Diarrhea with no other known cause
- Constipation with no other known cause
- Bowel obstruction
- Night sweats
- Fever with no apparent cause
- Weight loss
- Abnormal blood clotting
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, please contact the experienced mesothelioma lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for a free initial consultation.