Are germ cells cancer?

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.

Are germ cell tumors cancerous?

Ovarian germ cell tumor is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the germ (egg) cells of the ovary. Germ cell tumors begin in the reproductive cells (egg or sperm) of the body. Ovarian germ cell tumors usually occur in teenage girls or young women and most often affect just one ovary.

What are germ cells?

Listen to pronunciation. (jerm sel) A reproductive cell of the body. Germ cells are egg cells in females and sperm cells in males.

What kind of cancer is germ cell tumors?

Germ cell tumors are malignant (cancerous) or nonmalignant (benign, noncancerous) tumors that are comprised mostly of germ cells. Germ cells are the cells that develop in the embryo (fetus, or unborn baby) and become the cells that make up the reproductive system in males and females.

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Are 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.

Can germ cell tumors be benign?

Most germ cell tumors in the ovaries are benign (not cancer). Rarely, the tumors are malignant (cancerous). Ovarian germ cell tumors usually develop in young women under 20, but they can grow in older women, too. Most often, a tumor only grows in one ovary.

What is the survival rate of germ cell tumor?

The 5-year survival rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is 93%. The survival and cure rates also depend on several factors, including the stage of the disease. The cure rate for children with a stage I or stage II germ cell tumor is 90%. The cure rate for a stage III tumor is 87%.

Do germ cell tumors grow fast?

There are two types of germ cell tumors that start in the gonads, or reproductive organs: seminomas, which are slower-growing, and nonseminomas, which are faster-growing tumors.

What is the cause of germ cell tumor?

The cause of most germ cell tumors isn’t always known. Doctors do know that some medical conditions can make children more likely to develop them. These include: birth defects that involve the central nervous system, genitals, urinary tract, and spine.

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.
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Is germ cell cancer contagious?

Cancer is NOT contagious

Cancer cells from someone with cancer are not able to live in the body of another healthy person.

Is germ cell cancer genetic?

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.

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.