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Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer in the lining that surrounds the stomach or abdomin, called the peritoneum. The peritoneum are cells that produce a lubricating fluid that protect the stomach. They allow the stomach to move freely when, for instance, you are digesting food.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is much less common than pleural mesothelioma. It accounts for about 10 to 20% of mesotheliomas.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

This is a small operation that may be used to diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma. A tube with a camera and a light is put into your abdomen through a small cut. Your doctor can look inside to see whether there is any sign of cancer. The doctor will take samples (biopsies) of any abnormal looking areas. These will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope. Laparoscopy is done under general anesthetic. You will have a small wound with a couple of stitches. Sometimes, the camera is put in through more than one cut, so you may have more than one wound.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital: recently established a Mesothelioma Center, unique in this area, to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for Pleural mesothelioma & Peritoneal mesothelioma. Over 50 patients with this rare disease have participated in our nationally recognized intensive multimodality treatment program, which involves debulking surgery, repeated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, second-look surgery, and whole abdominal radiation. This is a disease whose survival is traditionally 18 months or less from diagnosis. In our first clinical trial, the median survival has not yet been achieved (now over 68 months), and 37% of our patients are disease-free.