4. Pain in the abdomen
Abdominal pain, which may also be known as a stomach ache, tummy ache, gut ache, or bellyache, is not uncommon and almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. It may be mild or severe, continuous or isolated, acute or chronic, but when it’s particularly severe or lasts for weeks, medical help is recommended. In the case of mesothelioma, the abdominal pain results from irritated tissue in the abdomen. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic material that was widely used in construction. When it interacts with other materials, fibers are released into the atmosphere.
Asbestos fibers, swollen or inhaled, become trapped in the body and may travel from the digestive system to the peritoneum or through the lymphatic system to the abdomen, causing peritoneal mesothelioma. The presence of asbestos fibers in the abdomen irritate the cells, causing the thickening of the peritoneal lining and buildup of fluid. However, none of these are noticeable, which is why pain is usually the first symptom patients experience. According to the study “Peritoneal Mesothelioma: A Review,” 35 percent of patients cited pain as the initial symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may also complain of stomach and chest pain.