Teratoma | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are teratomas diagnosed?

They can often be seen on prenatal ultrasound. Other diagnostic procedures can include:

What is the treatment for a teratoma?

Specific treatment for teratoma depends on the type of teratoma your child has.

Treatment generally includes a biopsy and surgical removal of tumors or involved organs, performed by a pediatric surgeon.

If the tumor is malignant, treatment may also include chemotherapy, a drug treatment that works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer or in conjunction with other therapy such as radiation or surgery. While it can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the agents do not differentiate normal healthy cells from cancer cells. Because of  this, there can be many adverse side effects during treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help the care team, parents, and child prepare, and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring, if possible.

What is the recommended long-term care for children treated for a teratoma?

Your child should visit a survivorship clinic every year to:

  • manage disease complications
  • screen for early recurrence of cancer
  • manage late effects of treatment

 A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:

  • a physical exam
  • laboratory testing
  • imaging scans

Through the David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.

  • Our childhood cancer survivorship clinic is held weekly.
  • In addition to meeting with your pediatric oncologists, your child may see one of our endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.

      We also offer the following services:

  • patient and family education
  • psychosocial assessment
  • genetic counseling
  • reproductive and fertility evaluation and counseling
  • opportunities to speak with other childhood cancer survivors