The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lungs. This is because inhaling asbestos fibers is the most common form of exposure, and directly affects the lungs.
However, there are actually many kinds of mesothelioma, depending on where the cancer develops in the body. These other forms are rare, but it is still important to be aware of these other forms of the disease.
What are the rare forms of this disease?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common type of this cancer, falling just under pleural mesothelioma – or the form that affects the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of your abdomen.
It occurs because of the ingestion of asbestos fibers, leading the fibers to embed themselves in the abdominal lining instead of the lungs. This can happen because of:
- Cement pipes contaminating drinking water;
- Food products exposed to asbestos; or
- Asbestos getting caught in the throat from coughing after inhaling fibers.
Many Minnesota cities, including Minneapolis and Duluth, have had issues with asbestos exposure from cement water pipes in the past. These past issues could still pose a risk to Minnesotans today due to mesothelioma’s latency period.
Even though peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of this disease, it is still incredibly rare. It only makes up less than 20% of all mesothelioma cases. The other forms that affect heart tissue and testicle tissue are even less common.
What are the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma?
The most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Abdominal swelling or the build-up of fluid
- Severe and consistent abdominal pain
- Sudden intestinal problems
- Significant weight loss
Regardless of the situation, it is beneficial for Minnesota families to be aware of all types of mesothelioma. That way, they can be proactive in getting the care they need.