As less than 100 cases of testicular mesothelioma have been reported within the past 50 years, this form of mesothelioma is the rarest form of the cancer.
Testicular mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the tunica vaginalis, the membranous lining that surrounds the testicle, providing protection and support for the organ.
Because the disease is so rare, there have been no confirmed theories as to how the cancer develops in that particular area of the body or how asbestos fibers may reach the testicles.
Like all other types of mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma is believed to be caused by exposure to asbestos. As previously mentioned, how the fibers reach the testicular area has yet to be determined, but it is understood that asbestos fibers can cause tumors to form in that region of the body.
Symptoms of testicular mesothelioma include:
The lumps may easily be mistaken for another disease or disorder and are often not discovered by a manual examination but during an unrelated surgical procedure, such as hernia surgery. When this occurs, a sample of the tissue may be removed and biopsied to determine if cancer is present.
The rarity of testicular mesothelioma makes it extremely difficult to diagnose. The cancer typically progressed to later developmental stages before the patients learned of their diagnosis in the documented cases of testicular mesothelioma.
The best way to determine a diagnosis is to obtain a tissue sample from the area. The sample may then be biopsied and examined for the presence of cancerous cells. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the patient will be referred to an oncologist to determine a course of treatment.
Though a cure for testicular mesothelioma does not currently exist, treatment options are available. Generally, a tumor in this area is considered a secondary tumor caused by metastases from peritoneal mesothelioma. That means the tumor’s primary location must also be treated. Surgery to remove a portion of the testicle or the entire testical is often performed. Chemotherapy or radiation may also be suggested following surgery to kill any cancerous cells that may remain. The patient may also wish to try alternative methods of therapy for pain relief, including acupuncture.
Testicular mesothelioma is considered to be a very clinically aggressive form of cancer, spreading quickly. Because of this, the prognosis for a patient with this form of mesothelioma is often poor, though treatment options are available to help combat this disease and improve prognosis. If you would like additional information about improving mesothelioma life expectancy, please fill out the packet request form on this page.