One of the natural mineral products is asbestos. Asbestos is resistant to both corrosion and heat. Because of this, asbestos has been a highly valuable product in manufacturing. In past decades, asbestos was extensively used in products like insulation, fire-retardant materials, cement and some vinyl floor tiles.
However, in the 1970s, the United States government began to regulate the use of asbestos and asbestos products. At the present time, the use and handling of asbestos is under strict regulations by the government.
The reason why the United States government started to regulate the use of asbestos is because heavy, long-term exposure to asbestos before this regulation started to take place is responsible for serious breathing and lung difficulties. Asbestosis is one of the diseases caused by exposure to asbestos.
Another disease resulting from exposure to asbestos is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is almost always caused by past, long-term exposure to asbestos. Malignant cells begin to show up in your mesothelium. Most of your body’s internal organs are covered by mesothelium as a protective lining.
Fortunately, mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer. Somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is one of the forms of mesothelioma. It begins in the tissue in your abdomen, in the mesothelial cells that form a layer that is known as the peritoneum.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is an uncommon form of the disease. It accounts for about 10 to 20% of all the cases of mesothelioma in the United States.
As mentioned earlier, peritoneal mesothelioma is nearly always the result of exposure to asbestos. Many of the people who develop peritoneal mesothelioma have worked on jobs in which they inhaled asbestos particles or were exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. You may also be put at risk of getting peritoneal mesothelioma if you wash the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos. There is no correlation between smoking and mesothelioma like there is between lung cancer and smoking.
There are some signs and symptoms that may be an indication of peritoneal mesothelioma. These include:
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
- Changes in your bowel habits like more constipation or diarrhea
- Lumps of tissue in your abdomen.
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