Teratoma: Symptoms and Treatment

Teratoma — a tumor in the form of a tumor, formed during pregnancy, and therefore consists of cells of the embryo. The main factor of occurrence is the pathological development of the tissues of the future fetus. This disorder becomes the reason that such a tumor contains the signs of some organs that by their nature should not enter the anatomical structure of this or that affected organ. Often, teratoma of the ovary contains small elements or particles of the skin, hair, muscles or nervous, or lymphatic tissue.

A tumor can be both malignant and benign. In most cases, it does not pose a threat to human health, but can sometimes give metastasis and spread to nearby organs or tissues. Such a neoplasm is most often found in children or adolescents. Place of localization — the sex glands in women, in this case will have the name — teratoma of the ovary, and in men — testicular teratoma, but this is not the only place of origin. But regardless of the place of education, the only method of treatment is to remove the tumor. Without proper therapy, the tumor can expand and press on the internal organs located nearby, or turn into a malignant one. In most cases, the disease occurs without symptoms.

In the international classification of diseases (ICD 10), the ailment has several values ​​- from M 9080/0 to M 9084/3.


At the present time, the causes are not completely explained, but since this tumor starts to form during pregnancy, the main factors of occurrence are various adverse effects on a woman bearing a baby. Risk factors may vary, among which:

  • prolonged exposure to too high or low temperatures;
  • Irradiation;
  • uncontrolled taking of medicines, without any apparent reason or appointment of a doctor
  • various poisoning, but especially dangerous are poisons or chemical elements;
  • living in a polluted area or near plants, because of which harmful substances enter the body through the respiratory tract
  • acute diseases of a viral or bacterial nature
  • woman’s inefficient nutrition — there is not enough vitamins and nutrients in food
  • performing intensive physical activities
  • abuse of alcohol, nicotine or drugs
  • not enough time for rest and sleep
  • bearing several fruits. In this case, there may be a situation where one of the fruits ceases to develop and becomes part of the second.


According to the peculiarities of the structure of the teratoma may be:

  1. mature — characterized by slow growth and detection in the tumor of hair, particles of teeth or bones. It often turns into a malignant form. Mature teratoma of the ovary does not only occur in this area, but it can also affect other organs located nearby. The surface is mostly smooth and bumpy. Mature teratoma in appearance resembles a knot or cyst that can be filled with gray mucus
  2. immature — the main difference from the previous type is that it contains the muscle, nervous, fat and connective tissues. Almost always malignant;
  3. malignant — almost always immature teratomas, less often — mature. The size can be very large. The only method of treatment is medical intervention. When removing a tumor, its appearance often shock both doctors and patients.

In the place of origin of the tumor are divided into these types:

  • Testicular teratomas — flow without symptoms, but are detected by deformity of the organ, or during examination during the diagnosis of other disorders. Often occur in adolescents, are much less likely to be diagnosed in adults
  • Ovarian teratoma — very often has the appearance of a cyst, and proceeds without the appearance of symptoms. Basically it is found out at planned survey at the gynecologist. In turn, it is divided into a teratom of the left and right ovary;
  • sacrococcygeal teratoma is one of the most common forms of teratoma in children. It has a rounded appearance, with a diameter of one to thirty centimeters. Girls are observed much more often than boys. Because of the constant growth can lead to an incorrect position of internal organs or cause abnormal development of the fetus. Especially large neoplasms often complicate childbirth. The most effective way of treatment is removal during the first year of life;
  • The teratoma of the neck is a very rare tumor. It can be recognized immediately after birth or found later (as its size increases). The size varies from three to fifteen centimeters. In most cases, it does not show symptoms;
  • Mediastinal teratoma — localized in the anterior mediastinal region, near large vessels and pericardium. A tumor of small size does not manifest itself in any way, but with an increase of up to 25 centimeters it gives uncomfortable sensations;
  • The teratoma of the brain is the most rare type of ailment, most often found in boys. In almost half the cases, it is a malignant tumor;
  • Presacral teratoma — occurs on the coccyx and externally looks like a bump or cone. Complicated by the formation of fistula.

According to the presence of teratoma contents are:

  1. dense
  2. consisting of fabrics
  3. containing the liquid.

Despite the fact that all tumors can be only congenital, their manifestation depends on the species and can be found:

  • immediately after birth
  • up to twelve years old
  • during puberty.

But all these factors are individual and depend on the size of the lesion.


Very often the teratoma is asymptomatic — unpleasant sensations start to appear when the tumor reaches a critical size. Depending on the type of neoplasm, the symptoms of the disease will be different. Thus, the signs of a cervical teratoma are:

  1. Difficult breathing
  2. skin’s bluish skin tone
  3. Attacks of suffocation
  4. uncomfortable sensations during the absorption of food

Symptoms of mediastinal teratoma:

  • blueing of the skin;
  • change in heart rate;
  • pain in the heart provokes squeezing of the tumor of the lungs and blood vessels
  • severe cough, often with blood impurities
  • the appearance of dyspnoea and hiccoughs
  • a slight increase in body temperature;
  • bending of the chest.

Teratome of the brain is characteristic:

  1. severe headaches;
  2. dizziness attacks
  3. persistent nausea.

A tumor on the right or left ovary is accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • heaviness in the lower abdomen;
  • pain during intercourse
  • frequent urge to urinate and stool.

Untimely diagnosis and treatment of teratoma in children leads to disturbances in the processes of emptying and prevents the social adaptation of the child. If the neoplasm is accompanied by strong and sharp pain in the affected area, this means that the tumor has become malignant. With presacral teratoma, the newborn baby will have an abnormal skeletal structure and a soft tissue structure disorder.


Since the teratoma is a congenital ailment, it can be diagnosed early in the course of ultrasound (the method will allow to see the neoplasm during pregnancy). But not all types of tumors can be seen in this way, because some of them appear immediately after birth or in the first few years of life.

For diagnosis at an older age:

  1. pregnancy analysis
  2. compiling possible causes of malignancy;
  3. collecting information on the course of the disease
  4. blood tests — biochemical and general
  5. Radiography of the affected area — in the picture you can see a part of the teeth and bones in the lesion. In some cases, a contrast agent may be needed;
  6. CT of the area that brings discomfort
  7. gynecological examination
  8. endoscopic examination
  9. MRI is performed to exclude or confirm the presence of metastases
  10. biopsy — during which a small part of an organ or tissue is collected from the desired area, for further laboratory and microscopic examinations.

Additionally, an oncologist can be consulted, which will determine whether the tumor is benign or not. Only after receiving all the results of the examinations and consulting specialists from different areas, the doctor prescribes the most effective treatment, or rather, the degree of medical intervention.


Teratoma is treated only surgically, but the degree of medical intervention depends on the properties of the tumor. This means that with a benign tumor, only the cyst or knot will be removed, without affecting the internal organs. The only exception is women and girls of reproductive age. In this case, the treatment consists of excision of part of the ovary, and female representatives who are in pre-menopausal age are removed from the uterus and appendages. If the tumor has become malignant, the level of surgical treatment is determined by the area of ​​origin and the presence of metastases.

Often the prognosis of a mature and immature terabar of a benign course is quite favorable — exceptions are only sacrococcygeal tumors (in such cases, half of the children die). This is due to anomalies in the development of internal organs, due to their squeezing, or rupture of the neoplasm directly during labor.


The main preventive measures from a mature or immature teratoma consist of ensuring the normal course of pregnancy, as well as the exclusion of all causes that may affect the onset of such a tumor.