By Katrina Banks
There are so many reasons for infertility but the largest category of all is “unexplained infertility.” When this is your diagnosis it can often leave you baffled and unsure of your next steps. Because there are so many avenues to explore, at Global IVF we strive to bring new theories and research to the forefront so people can take a deeper look into what may be causing their fertility difficulties.
Like many forms of testicular cancer, patients with testicular mesothelioma often run the risk of fertility problems. And while testicular mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of mesothelioma with less than 100 cases reported, that doesn’t make it any less dangerous in the long term since some infertility can be tied to several of the common symptoms of testicular cancer.
Asbestos first appeared in the news when researchers and doctors started noticing increased cases of cancer in people who worked with this once commonly used building material. We primarily hear about the dangers of asbestos to the lungs and abdomen, but patients also run the risk of damage to the testicular region. Through extended asbestos exposure growths or mesothelioma tumors can develop – and cause deep scarring and plaque buildup in the lining of the body’s organs, thus the testicular region could experience major risk if these tumors develop in that area. And with this damage, the patient runs the risk of infertility.
Further risk of infertility can develop with the use of routine therapy options such as radiation and chemotherapy, which are commonly used by mesothelioma patients. With extended use of radiation and chemotherapy, cases of infertility are often determined by the length, dose, and type of treatment used. In most cases of the disease, patients have turned to fertility treatments or assisted fertility to address their desire to have children.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The two most common testicular mesothelioma symptoms include swelling up of the scrotum and formation of lumps in the testicular region. These lumps can often be mistaken for other diseases and disorders within the testicular region. In most cases, the lumps aren’t even discovered by manual examination, but rather in an unrelated procedure, such as surgery for a hernia. Usually a diagnosis occurs after doctors remove a tissue sample from the testicular area and run a biopsy to see if cancer is present.
Like most cases of mesothelioma, the testicular form of the disease is difficult to diagnose. The cancer is typically already in a later stage of development by the time it is discovered. The rarity of testicular mesothelioma only adds to the difficulty in diagnosing such a disease. As mentioned earlier, the use of the tissue sample taken from surgery is usually the most accurate way of discovering the disease.
Research and development
Researchers are currently still in the process of figuring out how cases of testicular mesothelioma actually develop, but it’s still believed to be related to asbestos exposure, as is the case in all other forms of mesothelioma. The problem that doctors and researchers have encountered is what exactly causes the asbestos fibers to reach the testicular area. All that is known currently is that asbestos fibers can cause tumors in the testicular region of the body, resulting in testicular mesothelioma.
Visit Your Doctor
Because the primary symptom of testicular mesothelioma is often a single lump that can be easily mistaken for other diseases and disorders within the testicular region, it is important to ask your doctor for more information regarding testicular mesothelioma if your partner has had previous exposure to asbestos and you are having trouble conceiving.