Peritoneal Mesothelioma Causes are related to asbestos exposure as well as exposure to hazardous chemicals found at industrial sites such as power plants, steel plants, sites of incinerated buildings, oil refineries, and shipyards.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare cancer found in the abdominal mesothelium lining called the peritoneum. Experts agree that this rare disease is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is the collective name given to six fibrous minerals that are strong, non-flammable, non-conductive, and resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for use in construction and manufacturing. The pliable material is commonly found in insulating materials, cement, roofing products, and textiles. Unfortunately, asbestos is also highly carcinogenic, and anyone who has a history of working around it may be at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos enters the body through inhalation and ingestion. Once inside the body, the fibers can lodge themselves in the mesothelial cells or migrate through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. When they enter the peritoneal cavity, they become stuck, causing irritation and cellular change. Then, they respond by dividing at an alarming rate. The response produces malignant tumors known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Typically, the condition is most frequently found in men over the age of 40 working in an industrial profession. Many people do not recognize that they have been exposed to asbestos, so they are surprised to find that they have been diagnosed. Aiding this problem is that the disease has a long dormancy period. As a result, exposure to asbestos for even two to three months in a person’s life may not surface until 30 to 40 years later.
While asbestos is one of the main Peritoneal Mesothelioma Causes, other factors may lead to the condition as well. Exposure to hazardous chemicals found at industrial sites such as power plants, steel plants, sites of incinerated buildings, oil refineries, and shipyards may contribute to cancer development. While there is not a direct correlation between smoking and mesothelioma, the practice may accelerate the development of the disease because of its impact on the body. Alcohol, sunlight, radiation, and poor diet may similarly contribute.
Who is likely to Develop Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Firefighters, first responders at Ground Zero, shipyard workers, veterans, plant employees, and construction workers may all be at risk for developing peritoneal mesothelioma. Because of standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), today’s industrial workers are more protected from exposure. Preventative measures such as protective masks and clothing lower workers’ risks. Additionally, industrial workplaces cannot operate unless their levels of asbestos are below nationally accepted standards. Individuals exposed through much of the 20th century did not have these sorts of safeguards in place, however, and should be carefully monitored for symptoms of mesothelioma.