ABC Medical Center > Germ cell tumors

What is Germ cell tumors?

12:09 - 3 November , 2023


It is a low-incidence oncological condition that consists of the formation of tumors that affect the so-called germ cells of the ovaries or testicles (eggs and sperm), although this type of tumor can also be extragonadal, that is, located outside the gonads, the most frequent areas being:

  • Abdomen.
  • Pelvis.
  • Brain.
  • Neck.
  • Chest area.

Ovarian germ cell tumors are the most common, affecting mostly young and adolescent women.

There are three types of germ cell tumors:

  • Germinomas.
  • Choriocarcinomas.
  • From the yolk sac.

Signs and symptoms Germ cell tumors

The symptoms will depend on the location of the tumor and its intensity will vary according to its size and degree of progression, but generally include:

  • Vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Inflammation.
  • Constipation.
  • Lump or bump in the affected area.
  • Coughing fits.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Diagnosis and treatment Germ cell tumors

After the doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination looking for signs of the condition and will request various tests to rule out other conditions and corroborate the diagnosis, such as:

  • Computed tomography.
  • MRI.
  • Positron emission tomography.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Serum tumor marker test.
  • Tissue biopsy.

The treatment to follow will depend on the location, size, and stage of the tumor, but usually includes:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy.

Since its inauguration in 2009, our Cancer Center has offered chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments at the level of the best medical centers in the world through a comprehensive care model for cancer patients.


  • García-Vega LJ, Gutiérrez-Rentería JP, García-González R, et al. Tumor mediastinal gigante de células germinales. Un reto en el manejo quirúrgico. Neumol Cir Torax. 2021;80(4):300-304. doi:10.35366/103456.

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