Are germ cell tumors hereditary?
The cause of germ cell tumors isn’t fully known. Some gene defects passed on from parents to children (inherited) may increase the risk for germ cell tumors. Some genetic syndromes can cause abnormal growth of the male and female reproductive systems.
Where do germ cell tumors come from?
Germ cell tumors are growths of cells that form from reproductive cells. The tumors may be cancerous or not cancerous. Most germ cell tumors occur in the testicles or the ovaries. Some germ cell tumors occur in other areas of the body, such as the abdomen, brain and chest, though it’s not clear why.
Can adults have germ cell tumors?
Extragonadal germ cell tumors are usually seen in children or young adults and typically arise in midline locations. In adults, the most common sites of primary extragonadal germ cell tumors are, in descending order, the mediastinum, retroperitoneum, and cranium.
What are the signs of germ cell tumor?
Common signs of germ cell tumors include:
- A mass on your ovaries or testicles.
- Belly pain and swelling (caused by tumor)
- Bathroom troubles (a hard time pooping or holding in your pee, if the tumor is near your pelvis)
- Breast growth, pubic hair, or vaginal bleeding at an earlier age than normal.
- Belly or chest pain.
Can germ cell tumors spread?
Germ cell tumors can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. The most common sites for metastasis are the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and central nervous system. Rarely, germ cell tumors can spread to the bone, bone marrow, and other organs.
Can germ cell tumors come back?
How do providers treat benign (noncancerous) ovarian germ cell tumors? Healthcare providers remove benign tumors surgically. Sometimes, they need to remove the ovary (or part of the ovary) when removing the tumor. Benign tumors rarely grow back after providers remove them.
Is germ cell tumors curable?
Germ cell tumours generally respond very well to chemotherapy and most people are cured. Even cancers that have spread are still very treatable with chemotherapy.
How do you test for germ cell tumors?
In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose a germ cell tumor:
- Biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. …
- Blood tests. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). …
- Ultrasound. …
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. …
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
What percentage of germ cell tumors are malignant?
Malignant germ cell tumors of the mediastinum are uncommon, representing only 3 to 10% of tumors originating in the mediastinum. They are much less common than germinal tumors arising in the testes, and account for only 1 to 5% of all germ cell neoplasms.
Is germ cell tumor malignant?
Germ cell tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Although germ cells are usually in the reproductive organs, these cells can sometimes travel to other parts of the body and cause tumors, called extragonadal germ cell tumors.
What is a mixed germ cell tumor?
Listen to pronunciation. (mikst jerm sel TOO-mer) A rare type of cancer that is made up of at least two different types of germ cell tumors (tumors that begin in cells that form sperm or eggs). These may include choriocarcinoma, embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, teratoma, and seminoma.