Peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the abdominal lining, often deceives doctors, patients and more of its presence. The main reason for this is the signs of peritoneal mesothelioma aren’t unique to this cancer.
The best way to detect peritoneal mesothelioma early is by recognizing all the top symptoms at once. This is why knowing the signs is important.
What are the most common signs of peritoneal mesothelioma? That question is asked quite often, and the answer can help people get started on treatment.
Some symptoms are noticeable during everyday life. Others require imaging scans and a trained doctor’s eye to identify.
The top early signs of peritoneal mesothelioma are:
- Ascites (peritoneal fluid buildup)
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Ascites is fluid building in your peritoneum, where peritoneal mesothelioma forms. This causes abdominal swelling and distension.
When tumors form in this thin lining, they take up limited space and push fluid into pockets. These fluid pockets cause bulging of the abdominal wall, which is noticeable visibly.
The ascites is noticeable on X‑ray scans. Patients should respond to abdominal distension by visiting their doctor.
An effect of ascites is abdominal pain. The buildup of fluid causes pressure against the abdominal wall. It also causes pressure against the abdominal organs, which are surrounded by the peritoneum.
A thicker peritoneum leaves less room for everything else, which causes overcrowding and is the source of pain.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Pain in the abdomen can lead to a lower appetite. People may eat much less due to the ascites, leading to weight loss. Another cause is consistent constipation, which can also decrease appetite and lead to drop in weight.
If you’ve experienced abdominal swelling and abdominal pain and assumed it would “go away in time,” the weight change should signal your internal alarm. Talk to your primary doctor about these symptoms and get an imaging scan as soon as possible.
You’ll likely undergo an X‑ray, CT scan and PET scan to determine if you have any abnormalities. If these are signs of peritoneal mesothelioma, you’ll want to react quickly. The tumors multiply and spread rapidly, and you have little time to begin life‑saving treatment.
Sources & Author
- Mesothelioma. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022. Accessed: 07/21/2021.
Sources & Author