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What is a dermoid tumor?

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A dermoid tumor is an inclusion cyst that forms when an epithelial tissue implants itself on another structure, reports University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It can occur in the skull, brain, spine and nasal sinuses. It can also present on the face, on the lower back, or in the ovaries.

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Symptoms of a dermoid tumor depend on its location, explains UPMC. In the skull, it causes vision defects, hormonal imbalance and seizures. A dermoid tumor in the brain causes hydrocephalus that results in enlargement of the head. Symptoms of the tumor in the spinal canal include leg pain and back pain. Other symptoms include headaches, fever, a stiff neck, numbness and facial pain, states the University of California, Los Angeles.

Diagnosis involves magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography brain scans, notes UCLA. Surgery is the primary treatment for dermoid tumors.

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