What is the prognosis of testicular teratoma?

Updated: Nov 22, 2019
  • Author: Chad A Hamilton, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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Answer

Testicular teratomas occur in children and adults, but their incidence and natural history contrast sharply. Pure teratomas comprise 38% of germ cell tumors in infants and children but only 3% after puberty. In children, they behave as a benign tumor, whereas in adults and adolescents they are known to metastasize. [20, 34]  With no documented cases of metastasis, morbidity from prepubertal testicular teratomas is largely limited to surgical or postoperative complications.

During and after puberty, all teratomas are regarded as malignant because even mature teratomas (composed of entirely mature histologic elements) can metastasize to retroperitoneal lymph nodes or to other systems. Reported rates of metastasis vary from 29-76%. Morbidity is associated with growth of the tumor, which may invade or obstruct local structures and become unresectable. Approximately 20% of patients relapse during surveillance. [20]


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