When mesothelioma first makes its presence known, its symptoms are often associated with other conditions, delaying diagnosis and prolonging treatment. If a patient presents signs that are common with mesothelioma, a medical professional should perform a thorough evaluation to rule out other medical conditions. Because this disease can take upwards of 50 years to develop to maturity, initial symptoms might be dismissed or missed altogether.
There are four different types of mesothelioma—one of which is peritoneal mesothelioma. In this version, the abdominal membrane that surrounds the organs is where the cancer first metastisizes. The asbestos that causes mesothelioma makes its way into the body through digestion or inhalation. If ingested, these tiny particles infect the digestive system, including the bowels. Though not a common initial sign, bowel obstruction associated with mesothelioma does occur. It is more common for an obstruction to develop as the illness progresses.
When Bowel Obstruction Develops with Mesothelioma
A bowel obstruction that develops with peritoneal mesothelioma is an extremely painful condition. With this cancer, the abdomen becomes distended as irritation persists, causing abdominal pain and swelling, along with other complications. Fluid build up in the abdomen, known as ascites, can lead to the secondary condition that is a bowel obstruction; this is normally an indicator that the mesothelioma has further advanced.
The increased buildup of fluid retention causes the abdomen to continue to swell, placing steady pressure on the internal organs, and may cause nausea and pain in the abdomen. If these symptoms are present and a bowel obstruction is detected, care should be taken to rule out peritoneal mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
Treating the Bowel Obstruction
A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency and if left untreated, the obstruction can lead to severe dehydration, depletion of vital nutrients, weight loss and even starvation. This is due to the fact that nourishment is unable to be correctly absorbed by the body, as it is blocked by the bowel obstruction. If the obstruction is severe, surgery may be recommended.
When combined with mesothelioma, a bowel obstruction can exacerbate the symptoms of the cancer. Pains associated with swelling and fluid retention may worsen, and may result in loss of an appetite and weight loss. Mesothelioma only complicates the ability to correct a bowel obstruction if the patient is not physically strong enough to safely undergo surgery.
Though great strides have been made to find a cure for mesothelioma, prognosis has only slightly improved. Early detection is the key to prolonging a better quality of life. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Mesowatch for support and a free case evaluation. Our team will connect you with a leading experienced mesothelioma lawyer to ensure that you can pursue maximum compensation for your claim.