Teratoma: What is it? Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a form of neoplasia that causes abdominal pressure and inflammation. It can even cause cancerous developments in patients.

It is a form of germ cell tumor that is made up of several types of cells. They are supposed to be congenital (or present at the time of birth), although small ones are often not discovered until much later in the patients’ lives.

Teratoma code

The ICD10 code for this disorder is C62.9.

Etymology

The term “Teratoma” is of Greek origin and literally means “monstrous tumor”.

Causes

This type of tumor arises when the germ cells begin to replicate abnormally, contrary to their nature. A teratoma arises when a bag of germ cells begins to multiply and several different forms of tissue begin to develop although the tissue is usually not functional.

Historically, these growths have been of immense interest to medical and professional researchers. Teratoma tumors of particularly large size or of an abnormally complex nature were preserved as specimens. The doctors were enthusiastic about the opportunity to operate in this type of growth.

Types of teratoma

Teratoma sacrococcígeo:

Sacrocicerian teratoma (SCT) is a type of teratoma that arises at the base of the coccyx. It is said to appear in one in every 35,000 newborns. It is the most common type of tumor in newborns and is usually not malignant at the time of birth.

The term “Sacrococcygeus” indicates an area of ​​the body: the sacral area (the lower part of the back) and the coccygeal region (the coccyx area).

Symptoms of sacrococcygeal teratoma;

This form of growth is seen most often in young children and babies. It represents a development of several cell forms. It is commonly detected after finding a lump or bump in the lower area of ​​the back.

These tumors can lead to various signs and symptoms. The most common of these symptoms is the protrusion of a lump in the sacrocicerian area of ​​the body. The internal development of the tumor can lead to several other symptoms, which can result in an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract or urinary tract.

Blockage of the urinary tract can cause intestinal obstruction, which can cause problems such as:

Diagnosis of sacrococcygeal teratoma:

The neoplasm can be detected by various means, mainly imaging tests of different types. This can often be diagnosed with a method known as prenatal ultrasound.

In such patients, the diagnosis is confirmed after birth (Computerized Tomography), Magnetic Resonance and other imaging studies.

Young children and babies can be diagnosed with these neoplasms. The victims of these tumors are detected depending on the symptoms. The diagnosis of these growths is confirmed with an MRI or a CT scan.

Treatment of sacrococcygeal teratoma:

Surgery is the first step in the medical cure of this growth. Surgical removal is important because the tumor can become malignant by nature. The method used to perform the operation depends on the size of the Teratoma.

The growths can often be large, and the scope of the operation can also be quite extensive. In some cases, multiple operations may be necessary. In babies, it may be necessary to eliminate the coccyx.

After surgical removal, the growth is sent for evaluation to a pathologist who determines whether the tumor is malignant or not. If it is benign, often no additional treatment is needed apart from regular monitoring of patients for recurrence.

Unlike non-cancerous growths, patients with malignant teratoma tumors need chemotherapy. This type of treatment is necessary to completely eliminate any unusual cells that may still be there inside the body.

Ovarian teratoma

It arises from one of the germ cells located in the ovary. This form of growth usually begins to emerge around the time when patients reach reproductive age.

Causas of ovarian teratoma:

It is the result of abnormalities with one or more germ cells in the ovary.

Symptoms of ovarian teratoma:

Patients with this condition may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Uterine bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping.
  • Sterility.

Diagnosis of ovarian teratoma:

If doctors suspect an ovarian teratoma, they are likely to order certain blood tests to detect tumor markers. They may also recommend conducting medical imaging studies of the pelvic area to look for any visible abnormalities.

Treatment of ovarian teratoma:

If there is a tumor present, surgery is usually the recommended treatment option to remove the tumor. In general, laparoscopic surgery is the preferred curative option and allows surgeons to make several minor incisions (to access the area).

Eliminate growth, look for signs of metastasis (spread to other regions) and finally close the operated points. With this approach, the time needed for recovery is usually less. Victims also experience less scarring and pain.

Complications of ovarian teratoma:

In certain patients, the lump grows large enough to lead to ovarian torsion. This is a medical emergency in which the ovary twists in its stem and interrupts the blood supply to the ovary.

Victims experience severe pain and may be highly susceptible to acute complications such as infertility and abdominal infections. If patients do not receive treatment on time, they may suffer the following problems:

  • Confusion.
  • Fever.
  • Coma.

In these cases, surgery is needed as an emergency treatment to eliminate growth and cure torsion. If possible, surgeons will try to save the ovary.

Quatial teratoma

These bulges arise from sperm or eggs. These may contain undeveloped tissue or several mature tissues, including hair, fat, muscles, glands and teeth. Cystic teratoma can also be called a dermoid cyst or a mature teratoma.

It is more likely to be part of well-defined forms of tissue and to be benign or cystic rather than solid. The package has closed regions, which can be filled with liquid.

Treatment of cystic teratoma:

The treatment of these lumps generally involves surgical removal. In some cases, babies with large tumors of this type must be delivered with the help of a cesarean section.

The tumor is usually removed during the first week of life of affected children. In some cases, surgical removal may vary even when the fetus is still inside the uterus.

Symptoms of cystic teratoma:

Most of these growths are benign (not cancerous), although some may become malignant (cancerous), particularly those located in the testicles. However, not all growths of this type are of a malign nature.

These growths can be formed by skin, bones, hair and cells similar to those that can be found in various glands and organs. In some individuals, these also develop on the extremities and in the eyes. These growths can actually arise in any area of ​​the body.

However, they are most commonly found in the testicles in men, ovaries in women and tailbones in children. In babies, the coccyx is the most common region of the appearance of this type of tumor, although teratomas of the brain and neck are also found.

These lumps can arise suddenly and can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms, depending on the region of their appearance.

Benign growths of this type can lead to marked inflammation and pressure in the abdomen, while malignant tumors can spread to adjacent organs and lead to deterioration in organ function.

Diagnosis of the quatial teratoma:

In certain cases, these growths may be visible at the time of the ultrasound exams. In such cases, it is possible to eliminate these growths before birth.

To be considered a true teratoma, a tumor must be part of the three layers of germ cells. The cells of the germs are unique in their nature since they have the capacity to be divided in any possible thing.

The differential diagnosis of this tumor involves distinguishing its characteristics from those of other neoplasms that give rise to symptoms of a similar nature. Physicians should make sure that patients are really suffering from teratoma and not from a similar growth, be it benign or malignant.

Prognosis of the quatic teratoma:

The result of the malignant cases of this condition tends to vary in factors such as the location of the growth and the moment in which it was detected. There are many survivors of various types of teratoma, including the Sacroccygeal form.

Complications of cystic teratoma:

It is important that the coccyx be eliminated in case of patients with teratoma. This is due to the fact that the recurrence of this tumor is related to a failure to eliminate the coccyx.