Do teratoma form up before birth?

Teratomas are tumours composed of tissues derived from the three germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm) that can be located in the gonads (ovaries/testes) or extragonadal.

In men, teratomas that originate in the testicle, and in women, in the ovaries. Meanwhile, those that are generated extragonadal are generally located in the midline of the body. They can be in the brain, nose, tongue, and neck, among other places.

Teratoma is the most common neonatal tumour (approximately 25% of all neonatal tumours) and is the most common germ cell tumour in children.

They are more frequent in the female gender with a female / male ratio of 3: 1. They are located mainly in the sacrococcygeal region. Traper D and Lack EE (1983) reported in the series of 128 perinatal teratomas that sacrococcygeal teratomas represented 79.7%, neck teratomas 4.7%, face 3.1% and orbit 1, 6%.

The clinical presentation of head and neck teratomas varies according to the anatomical site where it is located and can be diagnosed in the prenatal period, by ultrasound vision, or postnatally.

Almost all germ cell tumours found in the fetus and neonate are histologically benign and are diagnosed as mature or immature teratomas.

Benign teratomas generally do not cause major problems unless, due to their size or growth speed, they exert an obstruction or pressure effect on neighbouring organs -torsion in the case of the testicle or ovary-, or they present bleeding when they have abundant circulation.

Treatment consists of completely removing the tumour with surgery. However, in some rare cases, it can reappear in the same organ or in other neighbours.

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