A 47-year-old woman was diagnosed with rare multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma at a cancer hospital in China.
Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the body’s internal organs. When it develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, it is called malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM).
Most doctors believe MPM is caused from ingestion of asbestos fibers and that microscopic asbestos fibers become embedded in the abdomen. After a few decades, these fibers can cause inflammation and mutations in healthy cells and these mutations ultimately cause these cells to become cancerous.
Patients who are diagnosed with MPM may survive several or more years after diagnosis and there are long term survivors.
This cancer occurs in less than 1,000 people in the United States every year. Multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of MPM and accounts for less than 5% of peritoneal mesotheliomas. Multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma is usually diagnosed in women.
Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment
In the case reported in this study, a middle-aged woman was diagnosed with multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma after going to the hospital for abdominal pain.
Her doctor decided to perform a laparoscopic resection. This is a minimally invasive procedure to remove tissue from the abdominal cavity. The procedure revealed grape-like clusters of cysts on her uterus.
After running some tests on the cysts, they were diagnosed as multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma. The patient did not have any more treatment after the surgery and no recurrence during an 11-month follow-up.
Multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma has symptoms like abdominal pain and swelling that can be confused for more common diseases. A correct diagnosis relies on x-rays and biopsies. Surgery is the most effective treatment option. Some doctors also recommend chemotherapy after surgical treatment to keep the cancer from growing back.
Luo Z, Zhou X, Dong Y, Zhang D. A rare case of multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma occurring in the uterus [published online ahead of print, 2023 Mar 4]. Asian J Surg. 2023;S1015-9584(23)00246-4. doi:10.1016/j.asjsur.2023.02.071. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36872209/