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Pediatric germ cell tumor

Germ cells are special cells in a developing embryo or fetus.

GERMINAL CELLS are cells in an embryo that turn into ovules or sperm. Rarely, during their development, these cells can travel to other areas (chest, abdomen or brain) and form a tumor.


There are 2 kinds of germ cell tumors that start in the testicles or ovaries: SEMINOMAS and NO SEMINOMAS.
A germ cell tumor that forms in the brain is called INTRACRANEAL.
Germ cell tumors outside the brain are divided into 2:
GONADAL: Starts and remains in the reproductive organs of a child.

EXTRAGONADAL: It begins in a child's reproductive system but travels to other parts of the body. Germ cells that are outside the gonads and outside the brain are called EXTRAGONADAL and EXTRACRANIAL. They usually occur in early childhood and usually begin in the sacrum and coccyx. In adolescents and young adults they are often located in the mediastinum (center of the chest).

The following factors may increase the risk of developing a germ cell tumor:

* A child with CRYPTOCHIDISM (testicle that did not descend) has a higher risk of developing a testicular seminoma tumor.

* A girl with TURNER SYNDROME (genetic condition in which she is born with a missing X chromosome) has a higher risk of developing a gonadoblastoma, a benign tumor that can turn into cancer.

* ANDROGENIC INSENSIBILITY SYNDROME (a genetically male body is resistant to androgens) increases the risk of developing a gonadoblastoma or other germ cell tumor.

* KLINEFELTER SYNDROME (men are born with an additional X chromosome) is connected with an increased risk of a germ cell tumor in the chest.

An extracranial and extragonadal germ cell tumor may develop the following symptoms:
* Pain in the affected area.
*Constipation.
*Urinary retention.
* Cough and / or difficulty breathing.

The Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI Mexico) recommends talking to your doctor if you are concerned about any changes you may observe.