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How are extracranial germ cell tumors (childhood) diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Your doctor may order a wide array of tests to officially diagnose extracranial germ cell tumors. These tests may be grouped into various categories. In a physical exam, your doctor checks your body for unusual signs or symptoms of disease visible to the naked eye. In imaging procedures, such as X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasound exams, your doctor uses various technology to create a picture of the inside of your body to see if tumors have developed there. In blood tests, your doctor will take a sample of your blood to analyze for substances that appear only in higher amounts when you have a germ cell tumor. In tissue sample analysis, such as biopsy, immunohisochemistry study, and cytogenetic analysis, your doctor will surgically remove a piece of the tumor to determine if it is malignant (more likely to spread rapidly and cause death) or benign (not likely to become cancer).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.