Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Diagnosis, Treatment, Next Steps

Doctor and patient looking at an x-ray, diagnosing peritoneal mesothelioma

Whether you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, the news can be both daunting and challenging for everyone involved. The situation becomes even more difficult when the type of mesothelioma identified is rare, such as peritoneal mesothelioma. 

What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma? 

Peritoneal mesothelioma, constituting roughly 30% of all mesothelioma cases, manifests within the peritoneum, the membrane lining the abdominal cavity. This form of mesothelioma often arises due to inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, which subsequently become lodged within the abdominal lining. 

Despite its relatively lower prevalence compared to other types of mesothelioma, and regardless of how it is contracted, it persists as an aggressive and lethal form of cancer. 

(Alt text: An infographic of Peritoneal Mesothelioma and other Mesothelioma types.)

Like other forms of mesothelioma, symptoms can vary from person to person based on factors such as the tumor's location and size, as well as overall health indicators like age, weight, and medical history. Some common symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fluid buildup
  • Weight loss
  • Visible abscess

Differentiating Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumor Types

In distinguishing peritoneal mesothelioma tumor types, medical professionals primarily categorize them into three main groups based on their characteristics. 

Tumor Type





This tumor type is defined by either a single large mass or multiple small masses.

This tumor type is distinguished by the fluid build-up and swelling, presenting without solid masses; however, small nodules and plaques may be observable.

This tumor type is identified by fluid accumulation and solid masses.

Additional Notes

This is the most common type of tumor seen in peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis.

This fluid build-up can contribute to symptoms such as abdominal distension, discomfort, and difficulty breathing.

Managing mixed tumors may require a multidisciplinary approach involving oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and other specialists.


Understanding these distinctions is vital for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans unique to each patient's condition.

The Challenges of Diagnosing Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma often eludes accurate diagnosis due to its symptomatic similarity to various common stomach ailments and hernias. The overlapping symptoms can easily lead healthcare providers down diagnostic paths that do not consider mesothelioma. Moreover, the nonspecific nature of these symptoms may cause delays in recognizing the underlying malignancy, thereby hindering timely intervention and treatment initiation. As a result, patients may endure prolonged uncertainty and ineffective management strategies before receiving a definitive diagnosis and appropriate care tailored to their condition. 

Regrettably, the prognosis for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is exceedingly poor without intervention. Even with treatment, the average life expectancy is 31 months after diagnosis. In instances where fluid accumulation occurs in the abdomen, medical professionals may opt for paracentesis to alleviate the excess fluid buildup. For those diagnosed in the early stages, surgical options may be considered, potentially extending the initial prognosis by several years. Hence, obtaining an accurate diagnosis promptly and commencing treatment without delay is imperative.

Given the high risk of misdiagnosis, it is crucial to ensure coverage by consulting with an attorney who can provide support every step of the way.

Assisting Your Doctor in Achieving an Accurate Diagnosis and Treatment

When discussing symptoms with your doctor, highlighting any history of occupational asbestos exposure, regardless of its remoteness, is crucial. This disclosure can expedite the accurate diagnosis process and ensure prompt treatment.

After diagnosis, it’s important to review all treatment avenues. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy represent conventional treatment modalities for mesothelioma, offering avenues for disease management. However, exploring ongoing clinical trials for mesothelioma can also provide additional treatment options worth considering.

Physicians and researchers are actively pursuing a cure and making significant progress in extending the lives of individuals diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. The best thing you can do is stay informed and abreast of the latest treatments while maintaining regular checkups with your doctor to explore all available options. 

Cooney and Conway: Your Trusted Allies For Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Navigating a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma or experiencing its associated symptoms can be overwhelming for both patients and their families. In such challenging times, it becomes paramount to seek guidance not only from medical professionals but also from experienced attorneys specializing in mesothelioma cases. These legal experts can provide invaluable assistance in understanding your rights, exploring potential avenues for compensation, and navigating the complexities of legal proceedings related to asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. By partnering with knowledgeable attorneys, you can access the support and resources necessary to pursue justice while focusing on your health and well-being during this difficult period.

For more information on mesothelioma treatment options and your legal rights, including potential mesothelioma lawsuits, contact the reputable mesothelioma law firm of Cooney & Conway today by filling out our free case evaluation form.


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