Virginia man Diagnosed with Rare Testicular Mesothelioma Beats Odds

A Virginia man from Spotsylvania County was diagnosed with testicular mesothelioma, a type of mesothelioma cancer that is extremely rare and affects an even smaller portion of people than those who are diagnosed with peritoneal, pleural, and pericardial mesothelioma each year.

In February 2009, Will McRay was diagnosed with testicular mesothelioma just as he learned that he and his wife Monika had been able to conceive after five years of fertility treatments.  When McRay found out that his wife was not only pregnant, but pregnant with triplets, he began to worry that he would never live to see his children. Testicular mesothelioma is an exceptionally rare type of mesothelioma; it has been documented only 100 times in the past 50 years. 

Although the majority of mesothelioma cases diagnosed affect the linings of the lungs, the heart, and stomach, the cancer can manifest itself in the testicles.  Unlike the types of mesothelioma that affect the lungs, heart, or stomach, which generally stem from asbestos exposure, the cause of testicular mesothelioma is still unknown.  While there is evidence to suggest that asbestos causes it, there are still far too few cases each year to pinpoint an accurate cause. Last May, McRay underwent surgery to remove poisoned lymph nodes and his left testicle in hopes of eliminating the cancerous tumors. 

However, tests performed shortly after the surgery showed the cancer had not been stopped and was in fact spreading.  Soon after, McRay volunteered for five weeks of daily radiation treatments and four rounds of chemotherapy. Last fall, while undergoing his cancer treatments, McRay became the proud father of three daughters.  As of April, his cancer was in remission.

“I’m going to watch my girls grow up,” he said, confident of his future and prognosis.