Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma can easily be confused with ovarian carcinoma in women. This was the case for a 55-year-old woman who went to the hospital for help with abdominal pain, fatigue, and nausea.
Hard to Diagnosis
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly type of cancer that affects the lining of organs inside the body. When it develops on the lining of the abdominal cavity, it is called malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM). MPM and other types of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms look just like other common diseases. For MPM, the symptoms could include abdominal pain and swelling, night sweats, and fever. Several diagnostic tests may be needed to reach a definitive diagnosis of MPM.
Imaging scans, such as CT and MRI, can be used to detect tumor masses. Blood tests can be used to detect biomarkers and abnormal substances in the bloodstream. And an abdominal biopsy can be used to obtain a tissue sample and confirm a diagnosis of MPM.
Early Detection and Treatment
In the case described by this new study, doctors examined the woman and found that her stomach was very swollen with fluid. They put a tube in to drain the fluid and ran some tests to find out what was making the woman feel sick.
The doctors found that the woman had low levels of red blood cells and high levels of white blood cells, which can be signs of cancer. They also found that she had high levels of certain proteins in her blood that can be a sign of inflammation in the body.
Based on these initial signs and her medical history, her doctors thought she could have some kind of ovarian cancer. After running some more scans and performing a biopsy, the woman was diagnosed with MPM.
She also had a history of radiation therapy for her thyroid cancer, which may have increased her risk of developing mesothelioma.
This case shows that people who have had radiation therapy for other types of cancer may be at risk for developing mesothelioma. It’s also important for doctors to consider mesothelioma when diagnosing patients with common symptoms. Early detection and treatment might improve survival for these patients.
Alhamadh MS, Alanazi RB, Wadaan OM, et al. Thrombocytosis as a paraneoplastic syndrome in metastatic malignant peritoneal mesothelioma of biphasic morphology mimicking ovarian adenocarcinoma: A case report. Clin Case Rep. 2023;11(3):e6974. Published 2023 Mar 2. doi:10.1002/ccr3.6974. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9979966/