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What is testicular mesothelioma?

Testicular mesothelioma is the rarest type of mesothelioma cancer for patients in Oregon and nationwide, with only around 100 reported cases on record. It is also frequently misdiagnosed.

Mesothelioma cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a natural mineral formerly used in construction and other industries. When asbestos fibers are released into the air, they can enter the lungs and attach to mesothelial cells throughout the body. Studies show that around 70 percent of all cases of the disease develop in the lining of the lungs, but it can also appear in the heart, abdomen or testicles.

Patients with testicular mesothelioma may present with symptoms such as lumps in the testicles, pain in the testicles and swelling in the scrotum. The swelling is caused by the presence of tumors or fluid buildup in the scrotum. Unfortunately, testicular mesothelioma is often initially mistaken for other conditions, such as a hernia. Many doctors may order an ultrasound or CT scan, but proper diagnosis is often only made during surgery. While blood tests could help with diagnosis, a biopsy is considered the most accurate method of identifying the presence of the disease. Testicular mesothelioma is classified as clinically aggressive. Prognosis for patients is typically between 20 and 23 months.

Early diagnosis can be critical to a cancer patient's chances of survival. A failure to diagnose cancer can allow the disease to spread and lead to a worsened medical condition. People who have been harmed in such a manner might want to meet with an attorney to see if there is a basis for the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit against the health care practitioner who made the error.

Source: Mesothelioma Research News, "Swelling of the Scrotum," Dec. 16, 2016

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