Only comments seeking to improve the quality and accuracy of information on the Orphanet website are accepted. For all other comments, please send your remarks via contact us. Only comments written in English can be processed. Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a primary peritoneal malignancy occurring in the lining cells mesothelium of the peritoneal cavity.

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Malignant mesothelioma me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs mesothelium.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure isn't possible. Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs pleura.

This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen peritoneal mesothelioma , around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma care at Mayo Clinic. Pleural mesothelioma , which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:. Peritoneal mesothelioma , which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:. Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these forms of the disease are very rare. Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle. See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that worry you.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma aren't specific to this disease and, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to evaluate them. Tell your doctor if you've been exposed to asbestos. In general, cancer begins when a series of changes mutations happens in a cell's DNA. The DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do.

The mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply out of control. The abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor. It isn't clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk.

It's likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices. Most mesotheliomas are thought to be related to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos is a mineral that's found naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful in a wide variety of applications, such as in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and many other products. When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created.

If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma. Exactly how this happens isn't understood. It can take 20 to 60 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure. Most people with asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:. Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:. Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, such as wearing protective equipment. You may also be required to shower and change out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home.

Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure. Older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. In many cases, it's more dangerous to remove the asbestos than it is to leave it intact.

Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult experts trained to detect asbestos in your home. These experts may test the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. Don't attempt to remove asbestos from your home — hire a qualified expert. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.

This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Request an appointment. Overview Malignant mesothelioma me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs mesothelium.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Malignant pleural mesothelioma. Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Accessed Nov. Niederhuber JE, et al. Diseases of the pleura and mediastinum. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology.

Philadelphia, Pa. Mason RJ, et al. Pleural tumors. An JY, et al. Clinical features and outcomes of tunica vaginalis mesothelioma: A case series from the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Genitourinary Cancer. Kim J, et al. Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: A review. Annals of Translational Medicine. Dudgeon D, et al. Assessment and management of dyspnea in palliative care. Mesothelioma adult. Rochester, Minn. Maleszewski JJ, et al.

Neoplastic pericardial disease. Cardiology Clinics. Mutti L, et al. Scientific advances and new frontiers in mesothelioma therapeutics. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. Protect your family. Environmental Protection Agency. Amin MB, et al. Malignant pleural mesothelioma. New York, NY: Springer; Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 17, Mansfield AS expert opinion. Tsao AS, et al. McCambridge AJ, et al. Progress in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Learn more about this top honor. Mayo Clinic Marketplace Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.


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Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is an uncommon primary tumor of the peritoneal lining. It shares epidemiological and pathological features with - but is less common than - its pleural counterpart, which is described in detail in the general article on mesothelioma. Other abdominal subtypes also discussed separately include:. As with pleural mesothelioma, there is also a strong association with asbestos exposure primarily the crocidolite variety , and this occupational hazard probably accounts for disease predominance in middle-aged to older males most common age group is 50 to 70 years and it may also account for the slightly increased male predilection.


Peritoneal mesothelioma

Treatment for this disease may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen and is the second most common type of mesothelioma. Just like pleural mesothelioma , peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. When someone ingests microscopic asbestos fibers, the tiny sharp particles get embedded in the lining of the abdomen peritoneum. Over a course of 20 to 50 years, the fibers in the peritoneum cause mutations in the surrounding healthy mesothelial cells. What does your diagnosis mean? Once doctors obtain a diagnosis, they can determine a treatment plan based on the cell type and how advanced the disease is.

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