Those Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer May Suffer From Peritoneal Mesothelioma

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There is a growing base of research that suggests some woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer may be suffering from misdiagnosed peritoneal mesothelioma.

Our mesothelioma cancer attorneys note a recent study by scientists at the University of Western Australia made the determination while studying links between asbestos and ovarian cancer. Exposure to asbestos may cause any number of health issues, and has been almost exclusively linked to causing mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining of internal organs. Because diagnosis often occurs 30 or 40 years after exposure, patients often have difficulty linking their health crisis with exposure to asbestos in the workplace or elsewhere, for which they deserve compensation. Mean survival after diagnosis is only about one year, making it critical to seek out experienced legal advice as early as possible after being diagnosed with this terrible disease.

As we reported previously on our Mesothelioma Blog, peritoneal mesothelioma is diagnosed in about 20 percent of cases. In this form, the cancer develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneal membrane. Pleural mesothelioma is more common — accounting for about 75 percent of all new cases. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining around the lungs, called the pleural.

Other forms are pericardial mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the heart, and testicular mesothelioma.

In the recent study, researchers at the Western Australia Institute for Medical Research examined 16 cases of diagnosed ovarian cancer. In two cases, they found peritoneal mesothelioma. That is an error rate of about 16 percent, though the sample was admittedly very small.

Researchers continue to look for a link between mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. And, while they believe a link may exist, they note misdiagnoses make a determination more difficult. They did find that woman in the study who had ovarian cancer were more likely to have been exposed to asbestos than those in the general population.

Besides mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos has been linked to a number of other types of cancer, including gastrointestinal, kidney, throat and gallbladder.

The National Institutes of Health reports peritoneal mesothelioma continues to be regarded as universally fatal. While the number of cases has increased over the last two decades, peritoneal mesothelioma continues to account for only about 20 to 33 percent of cases.

Median survival is 6 to 12 months — with symptom to survival time being 345 days. About 400 new cases are reported annually. Those ages 50 to 69 are most affected. The main risk factor is exposure to asbestos.

A diagnosis that was exceedingly rare until 1930, industrial use of asbestos has been primarily to blame for modern cases.

The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services, including mesothelioma legal help. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

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