The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

June 5, 2014

Teratoma tumors come from special type of cells

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a CT scan due to broken ribs from a very recent fall. The scan revealed a large teratoma near my heart. I am 69 and was previously unaware of this formation. No suggestion has been given to me regarding further investigation or treatment of the teratoma. I am assuming it may have been present at birth and does not cause any problem. But now I am wondering if it should be monitored. Can a teratoma grow or migrate in the body? Any information on teratoma will be appreciated. — S.S.

ANSWER: A teratoma is a type of tumor of germ cells, the cells that become eggs or sperm. They can occur within the testis or ovary, but also can occur outside the gonads. When they do, they usually are found in the midline of the body. A frequent place is the anterior superior mediastinum, in between the lungs and below the breastbone. Teratomas usually are benign tumors, but some types can act like cancers.

Your tumor is unlikely to have been there since birth. Nobody knows whether the germ cell that became a teratoma properly went into the gonads during development, or whether the cell left the gonad and then became a tumor. It is clear, however, that men with teratoma outside the gonads are at higher risk for developing testicular cancer later on.

Teratomas, being derived from germ cells, are capable of creating any tissue. Teeth and hair are sometimes found inside teratomas.

I am very surprised you haven’t been recommended for surgical removal. Surgery is usually successful at curing teratoma. They certainly can grow, and occasionally become very large. I would certainly recommend seeing an oncologist (cancer specialist). Thoracic (chest) surgeons operate on this area. It may be that the position is difficult, but a surgeon should still evaluate you, in my opinion.

Text Only
Food & Health
  • Watermelon Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

    Watermelon is one of those foods you really don’t need to overthink.
    Slice it. Eat it. Spit out the occasional seed. Done.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.The weak link seemed to be call cente

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

    Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program.

    July 23, 2014

  • Amanda Stecker Herbs make a better way to flavor meals Summer is a season full of fresh herbs. This is the best time of year to take advantage of the fresh herbs in the grocery store. Herbs add a boost of flavor without added sodium and are rich in antioxidants. Herbs are easy to incorporate into everyda

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Genome Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick.Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bice Nurses earn Daisy awards

    CLINTON — Two Clinton nurses recently earned Daisy awards.Mercy Medical Center nurses Jodie Atkinson and Kristen Bice earned the awards that is rewarded to extraordinary nurses. Atkinson began her career in nursing at Mercy Medical Center in 1995 on

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.