What Is a Teratoma Tumor?


Quick Answer

A teratoma tumor, also known as a dermoid cyst, is a noncancerous tumor that often has multiple types of tissue inside it, such as bone, muscle, teeth and hair, notes the National Cancer Institute. This type of tumor appears in various spots throughout the body, according to Medscape.

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Full Answer

Teratoma tumors include parts from all three layers of the embryo: mesoderm, endoderm and ectoderm. In all cases, these tumors are not native to the part of the body in which they appear. Generally, the surgical approach is gross total resection of the tumor and any adjacent structures connected to its growth, so long as the resection is possible and does not cause disfigurement, notes Medscape.

When the teratoma tumor grows in the sacroccygeal area, surgery goes through the posterior, and the coccyx (tailbone) has to come out with the tumor to cut down on the danger of recurrence. If the tumor is also present in the abdomen or pelvis, laparoscopy may be necessary as well. When a teratoma is present in the ovary, open resection is the best choice. If teratoma appears in the testicular area, local resection is possible when patients have not yet reached puberty, although more invasive measures may be necessary if areas around the teratoma have formed malignant cells, according to Medscape.

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