How Does Asbestos Cause Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
There are two main theories regarding how asbestos exposure leads to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma: • Asbestos fibers are ingested, and these fibers work their way from digestive organs into the peritoneal membrane. • Asbestos fibers are inhaled, and travel to the peritoneal membrane via the lymphatic system. Regardless of how asbestos fibers actually enter the peritoneal layers, once they do enter the membrane, the body experiences difficulty in expelling them. The fibers become trapped in the peritoneal membrane, and over a period of two or more decades, cause certain changes in the mesothelial cells of the peritoneum. The exact way in which asbestos fibers cause changes in these mesothelial cells is uncertain. One theory is that asbestos fibers cause long-term inflammation and irritation that eventually causes mesothelial cells to become cancerous. When cells become cancerous, they lose the ability to regulate their own division and growth. Cancerous mesothelial cells d