Understanding Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, or the thin protective lining that surrounds the abdominal cavity. It is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that can quickly spread between layers of tissue if not treated immediately. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for about half of all peritoneal mesothelioma cases.
When microscopic, needle-like asbestos fibers are disturbed, they can become airborne or fall on various surfaces, including clothing and skin. These fibers can then be unknowingly ingested where they can lodge in various linings throughout the body, including the peritoneum.
How Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to diagnose. This is due to the fact that the early symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma mimic a variety of other gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Because these conditions are far more common than peritoneal mesothelioma, doctors may first incorrectly diagnose a patient with one of these conditions. Because of this, it is incredibly important that patients who experience symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma inform their doctors of their full health histories, including any known or suspected asbestos exposure.
In order to diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma, doctors may take the following steps:
- Learn the patient’s background and health history
- Perform a complete physical exam
- Order imaging tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET/CT scans
- Order a blood test to determine if the patient has markers for tumors
- Request a biopsy of any abnormalities that appear on imaging scans
- Conduct a surgical biopsy of abnormalities (in some cases)
In most cases, the biopsy will be sufficient for the doctor to determine whether the patient has cancer and, if so, what type (including cell type) of cancer the patient has.
What Are the Symptoms of Peritoneal Cancer?
Because symptoms of peritoneal cancer are often very similar to those of various gastrointestinal conditions and diseases, it is very important that you consider any past asbestos exposure (or possible exposure) when taking symptoms into account. Always inform your doctor if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos or if you work/worked in a high-risk occupation.
Some of the common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Abdominal pain
- Distended abdomen
- Feeling unusually “full” or fullness of the abdomen
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Obstruction of the bowels
- Unexplained weight loss
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may range from mild to severe. This is another factor that makes diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma so difficult—many individuals do not see a doctor or seek treatment for years, which allows the cancer time to spread and progress throughout the body.
Treatments for Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Currently, the most effective known treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma is surgery combined with a type of chemotherapy known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), or simply as heated chemotherapy. Unfortunately, over 60% of peritoneal mesothelioma patients are not eligible to receive this combined treatment. Chemotherapy on its own is, therefore, the most common treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma.
In addition to treatment of the cancer itself, many patients undergo what is known as palliative treatment. This type of treatment is meant to address and ease the symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma and improve the patient’s overall quality of life. There are a range of palliative therapies available, including physical and occupational therapy, pain management, excess fluid draining, and more.
When to Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you suspect that your or your loved one’s cancer diagnosis is the result of asbestos exposure, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney. You could be eligible for monetary compensation for your medical bills and other expenses associated with treating the cancer and managing its symptoms. You could also be eligible for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. In the event that your loved one died due to peritoneal mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to wrongful death damages.
Working with an attorney is important, as these are often complex cases. Proving that the cancer was caused by asbestos exposure—and determining the liable party—is not a simple task. An attorney will be able to guide you through the process and conduct an exhaustive investigation into the circumstances of your particular case. It’s important that you act quickly, as you only have three years from the date of the diagnosis to file a mesothelioma claim in the state of New York.
Buffalo Peritoneal Mesothelioma Attorney
How Our Legal Team Can Help with Your Financial Recovery
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a serious and deadly form of cancer primarily caused by ingestion of asbestos fibers. As early as the turn of the 20th Century, the asbestos industry knew of the potential dangers associated with asbestos exposure, yet it did nothing to ensure the safety of asbestos workers or the general public. As a result, those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma (and other asbestos-related conditions) as a result of prolonged asbestos exposure could be eligible for financial compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, or the wrongful death of a loved one.
At Richmond Vona, LLC, we have extensive experience representing victims of negligence throughout Western New York. Our Buffalo peritoneal mesothelioma lawyers understand the unique challenges you and your family face—and we are here to help you fight for the monetary relief you need. We have a proven record of success, having secured hundreds of millions of dollars in both settlements and jury verdicts over the years. Most importantly, we genuinely care about helping our clients navigate what is often the most difficult time in their lives; we focus on client service, communication, and personalized attention every step of the way.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, contact us at (716) 300-5885 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.
Our team is here to help you. We can answer any questions you may have and provide invaluable information personalized to your unique situation. Our Buffalo peritoneal mesothelioma lawyers understand the many nuances and complexities involved in these types of cases, and we are ready to fight for the recovery and justice you and your family are owed. From our office in Buffalo, we serve clients throughout Western New York.
Get in touch with us by calling (716) 300-5885 or by submitting an online contact form. We look forward to meeting with you and listening to your story.
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