Today in our last post in recognition of Men’s Health Week, we look at the asbestos-related disease of testicular mesothelioma – the rarest kind of mesothelioma. Earlier this week, we talked about how mesothelioma in general impacts men at a far greater rate than it does women.
Mesothelioma in General
Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that develops in the thin lining that surrounds the organs of the body, usually of the lungs. People diagnosed with the illness are often over 50, not surprising since mesothelioma can take decades after exposure to asbestos to manifest in the body.
According to Mesothelioma Research News, about 70 percent of mesothelioma cases are pleural, meaning in the pleura, the lining around the lungs. It can also manifest around the abdomen, heart or testicles.
Mesothelioma in the Lining of the Testicles
In only about 100 documented cases – the first in 1957 – mesothelioma has been diagnosed in the lining around the testicles. This lining is called the tunica vaginalis testis. Because of the rarity of the condition, research and knowledge are sparser. Despite this, a patient with testicular mesothelioma is likely to have a more optimistic prognosis than someone with another variation of the disease. The median survival rate is about two years, according to the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
Symptoms that may indicate testicular cancer include:
- Swelling of the scrotum from fluid or tumors
- Excess fluid in the scrotum, called hydrocele
- Testicular pain and discomfort
- Lumps or masses in the testes
Testicular cancer is a very aggressive disease that can metastasize to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms are similar to other conditions like hernia, so it can be misdiagnosed. Testing that can help to diagnose the disease include blood work, biopsy, X-rays and ultrasound.
If caught early, surgery can be quite successful in treating symptoms and improve outcomes. When diagnosed at a later stage, chemotherapy and radiation can help lessen the severity of symptoms.
Seek Medical and Legal Support
Anyone experiencing the symptoms of testicular cancer should immediately seek medical care to get an early diagnosis and treatment. Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you are diagnosed to learn about your legal options such as a possible lawsuit for negligent or intentional exposure to asbestos.