Mesothelioma is known for spreading aggressively and not responding particularly well to traditional treatments, like radiation or chemotherapy. There are several different kinds of mesothelioma, and each has a slightly different prognosis. What does a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma mean for a patient?
The cancer began in the abdomen
Many individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have pleural mesothelioma. The cancer begins in the lining of the lungs and then spreads elsewhere. Peritoneal mesothelioma is different because it originates not in the respiratory system but rather in the abdomen. It grows in the lining around the digestive organs, which may affect the timing of someone’s diagnosis.
The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are often generic in the early stages, which can delay someone’s diagnosis. Common symptoms include:
- a loss of appetite
- overall weakness
- abdominal pain
It is unfortunately quite common for physicians to reach the wrong conclusion about the source of someone’s symptoms, especially if they are unaware that someone may be at elevated risk of mesothelioma.
What is the prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma?
Although it is common for peritoneal mesothelioma to have a poor prognosis, the outcomes for patients often reflect diagnostic delays more than major differences between peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma. Those looking into treatments for mesothelioma often prioritize pleural mesothelioma because it is more common.
Research has actually shown that the two cancers are largely the same at the genetic level. This means that peritoneal mesothelioma will very likely respond to the treatments currently showing promise for those with pleural mesothelioma. It also means that advances in diagnostic technology and patient screening could drastically improve the outcomes for those with peritoneal mesothelioma.
Someone’s best chances of getting cutting-edge treatments when battling mesothelioma often improve when they have resources to cover treatment costs. Pursuing a compensation claim after a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma may give someone a chance to afford the most effective treatment options available to them.