Tips to Surviving Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma are located mainly in the stomach. Pain is one of the most common symptoms; One study found that 33 percent of patients suffer from abdominal pain during the time of diagnosis. During this study, it was also shown that the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen was the second most common symptom, reported by 31 percent of patients. Five percent reported pain and abdominal fluid accumulation.

A small percentage of cases (about 15 percent of the population in the study) reported that a hernia can lead to the diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma. Ascites (the formation of pleural effusions in the abdomen) is another common symptom, during the time of diagnosis and in the final stages of the disease. With ascites, the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity can cause pain due to the applied pressure. Nearly three-quarters of patients suffer from ascites at some point in their illness.

Symptoms

Other symptoms, a little less common, include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Constant abdominal pressure
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss

How to treat the symptoms associated with mesothelioma cancer?

Mesothelioma treatment has been designed exclusively to relieve symptoms, known as palliative treatments. Some palliative treatments are used to reduce tumors or the accumulation of fluids and, as a consequence, the pressure applied to the organs. Other palliative treatments focus on treating the symptoms directly with medications. These treatments do not try to cure cancer but can be used in conjunction with healing therapies that can be potentially curative.

Surviving mesothelioma is only possible with the right treatment. Cytoreduction surgery can help reduce the forms of pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma even when the priority is to improve the patient’s life expectancy. Surgeries to drain fluid can help reduce pain as well (a pleurodesis can help reduce back pain and paracentesis helps with lateral pain). In patients with pleural mesothelioma, pleurodesis can help improve breathing.

Palliative chemotherapy and radiation therapy can have a significant impact. However, due to the fact that these treatments can cause a series of side effects, most doctors reserve them for patients who have good general health and can withstand the effects mentioned above.