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Aoife's Bubbles

What is Germ Cell Cancer?

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Germ Cell Cancer

Germ Cell Tumours are classed as a rare childhood tumour which usually develop in the ovaries or testes. However Germ Cell Tumours can also occur in other parts of the body. This is where they have failed to migrate to the correct part of the body and form as a tumour to the part of the body they have attached to. These are called extragonadal tumours, the most frequently seen places for these types of tumours are the bottom of the spine, the brain, chest or abdomen. 

Germ Cell Tumours are to do with the body germinating for new life, they are NOT to do with bacterial germs. 

The cause of Germ Cell Tumours is not known, but research is ongoing and something we are keen to support. 

We would like to change the stigma of any childhood cancer being considered rare, as we believe this is a huge contributing factor to children receiving delayed diagnosis and failures in their care.

Approximately 45 children a year are diagnosed with a Germ Cell Tumour making up 3% of the overall childhood cancer registrations. 

The overall survival rate for Germ Cell Tumours is given at 93% a statistic we are looking into.

Staging of the tumour is the same as most cancers.

Stage 1 - the cancer is small and has not spread 

Stage 2 - The cancer is larger and may not have been completely removed but may have spread to nearby organs

Stage 3 - as above

Stage 4 - Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body and formed secondary tumours also known as metastatic cancer. 

Treatment for Germ Cell Cancer is dependent on the child and the staging of the cancer. Germ Cell is highly responsive to chemotherapy. 

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