Disease Information

Solid Tumor: Germ Cell Tumors (Solid Tumor)

Alternate Names: Extracranial germ cell tumor

What is a germ cell tumor?

As a baby grows in the uterus, cells form the reproductive system, including eggs in the ovary and sperm in the testes. Through time, these cells can grow into germ cell tumors, also called gonadal germ cell tumors. 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. Areas where germ cell tumors can occur include the following:

What are the types of germ cell tumors?

There are three different types of germ cell tumors:

How common is a germ cell tumor?

What are the symptoms of germ cell tumors?

If your child has a germ cell tumor, the symptoms depend on the location of the tumors. Symptoms can include the following:

What tests are performed to detect a germ cell tumor?

How are germ cell tumors staged?

Your doctor will look at the imaging studies and surgery results to decide the stage of the disease:

How is a germ cell tumor treated?

An attempt is made to remove all germ cell tumors with surgery. The chemotherapy (chemo) used to treat germ cell tumors depends on the location of the tumor, the type of tumor and the stage of disease.

What are the survival rates for germ cell tumors?

Why choose St. Jude for your child’s germ cell tumor treatment?


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