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What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Peritoneal mesothelioma, a peritoneal cancer, refers to a tumor of the membrane in the abdomen, known as the peritoneum, and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Peritoneal mesothelioma comprises about one-fifth of all mesothelioma cases.

Asbestos fibers get caught in the mucus of the trachea and bronchi and are swallowed. The fibers then pass through the intestines to the peritoneum. The fibers can also reach the peritoneum by becoming lodged in the lungs and then carried off through the lymphatic system. (Please visit our Glossary for definitions of any of these terms.)


The symptoms of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma are as follows:

  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling of the feet
  • Distended abdomen / Abdominal bloating (due to fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity)
  • Impaired bowel function


First, an x-rays or CT scan is usually necessary to diagnose malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. A definitive diagnosis, however, requires examination of the peritoneal tissue. This examination is called a peritoneoscopy, and is an in-hospital procedure performed under anesthesia. A mesothelioma doctor inserts a scope down the esophagus and examines the tissue. If there is an apparent abnormality, a tissue sample will be taken and examined by a pathologist. The pathologist may then come back with a diagnosis of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.


Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates are very low; mesothelioma treatment options are available but, as of now, there is no cure. The prognosis for the condition varies depending on the size and stage of the tumor, and how it responds to mesothelioma treatment. The best possible outcomes come from early detection and treatment.

More Information

The lawyers of Harowitz & Tigerman are devoted to providing people with as much information on Mesothelioma and asbestos as possible. Please visit our California Mesothelioma Help Center for even more valuable information.

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Our lawyers are also committed to getting sufferers of mesothelioma the compensation they need for their injuries, and we have had a number of successful cases. For a FREE initial consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today. Because we know that you probably cannot afford to pay attorney’s fees at such a difficult time, we can work on contingency, which means that we charge you nothing until we win you money.

Our law offices are located in San Francisco, CA offices, but if you cannot visit us, our attorneys can come to you. The California mesothelioma lawyers of Harowitz & Tigerman know how to help clients suffering from mesothelioma throughout California, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles and other communities throughout California.