Exposure to asbestos leads to more than pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial mesothelioma. It can also lead to testicular mesothelioma. Other risk factors include cigarette smoking, exposure to radiation, and simian virus 40.
This form of cancer occurs in the tunica vaginalis, the thin membrane that surrounds the testicle. It is extremely rare and has been diagnosed in less than 100 patients in the last 50 years.
What Is Testicular Mesothelioma?
Testicular mesothelioma develops in the lining that covers the reproductive organ within the scrotum. Largely affecting men between 55 and 75 years old, less than 10 percent of all patients diagnosed with this disease were younger than 25.
Very little information is available about this form of cancer. However, we do know that it is often misdiagnosed as testicular cancer. We also know that the recurrence rate for this form of asbestos cancer is 52 percent. For that reason, the condition needs to be treated to avoid other health problems.
Testicular Mesothelioma Symptoms and Diagnosis
Most patients who develop testicular mesothelioma experience testicular lumps and swelling of the scrotum. Some may have sharp acute pain in one testicle as well as fluid buildup.
Because these symptoms are similar to testicular cancer, it is often misdiagnosed, letting it spread into other parts of the body. As a result, it is often diagnosed at a later stage. This is why it is critical to see a doctor as soon as you begin exhibiting symptoms.
Even knowing the symptoms, doctors have no widely recognized criteria in diagnosing testicular mesothelioma. To confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will recommend a biopsy, in which a small piece of tissue is removed and analyzed with an electron microscope. Ultrasounds and immunohistochemistry (using proteins to look at tissue) may also help in diagnosing this condition.
Testicular Mesothelioma Treatment
If you have been diagnosed with testicular mesothelioma, your doctor will recommend an orchiectomy, or the surgical removal of the tumor. If the cancer has spread to other organs, chemotherapy or radiation may be needed. You may also wish to try alternative treatments or participate in clinical trials.
What Other Treatments Are Out There?
Like pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. If you have worked with products containing asbestos, you may develop this rare form of cancer. To learn more about testicular mesothelioma causes and treatment, fill in the form on this page. We're here to help.