Testicular Mesothelioma

Cancer itself is a scary diagnosis. What becomes even more frightening is not understanding or knowing how you may have developed cancer.

Asbestos has long been known as the cause of mesothelioma but doctors have been unable to find the mechanism for how the material might cause testicular mesothelioma. It’s a very rare form of the disease.

Testicular Mesothelioma Symptoms and Diagnosis

To make diagnosis even more difficult, there are no typical symptoms for testicular mesothelioma, leading to often misdiagnosis as something more mild called a hernia.

The most common symptom is a hydrocele which is a buildup of fluid in the scrotum.

The most definitive way to diagnose testicular mesothelioma is to have a biopsy. This is where surgeons remove some tissue and send it to a lab for testing. Testicular mesothelioma is so hard to diagnose that it’s often caught during or after a different surgery.

Treatment for Testicular Mesothelioma

Surgery is the most common treatment for this cancer to resect the tumor itself. The procedure removes the affected testicle and the entire spermatic cord as well as the nearby lymph nodes if cancer has spread.

After the surgery is complete patients are recommended to follow up with a treatment of chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed. Doctors may also offer radiation treatment to kill any other cancer cells and prevent cancer from returning.

Prognosis and Survival Rate for Testicular Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma in its traditional form has low survival rates but with testicular mesothelioma, the survival rate is much better.

Nearly 49% of patients survive five years after diagnosis and 33% survive 10 years after diagnosis.

There are two different types of testicular mesothelioma: biphasic cell type and epithelioid subtypes.

Biphasic Cell Types

Patients who have biphasic cell type testicular mesothelioma have a worse overall survival when compared to other types of mesothelioma

Epithelioid Cell Types

Most patients with testicular mesothelioma have this type of cancer and the survival rate is much higher for the large majority of cases. Older patients and those with tumors that are 4 centimeters or larger have worse survival overall.

Risk Factors for Mesothelioma

Several mesothelioma risk factors stand out as major conditions for cancer to form. The first is exposure to asbestos or even living with someone who works with asbestos. You may also be conditioned to develop mesothelioma if you have a family history of cancer or you’ve had radiation therapy to your chest.

Prevention of Mesothelioma

For the large majority of patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma of any kind, they find they’ve been exposed to some type of asbestos. Asbestos miners, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, insulators, shipyard workers, demolition workers, brake mechanics, and home remodelers are at the most risk for asbestos exposure.

To screen for mesothelioma, ask your employer if you’ve been exposed to asbestos. Be sure to follow any safety regulations that your employer may have in place. Employers may require that you shower or change out of your work clothes before going home or taking a break. You can also talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take.