Germinoma – Understanding the Details of Germinoma

Germinoma is a specific type of germ cell based tumor. Individuals that have these types of tumors may find that they are malignant, but there are many that are considered to be benign as well. Historically, the term was used to describe a tumor that was located in the brain region that had the same characteristics as two distinctive tumors that are often discovered in the ovaries in a female and the testes of a male.

However, in the year of 1994, this particular tumor was identified as one that affects the germinal based tissue of the gonads, the mediastinum area or the pineal region. When identified in the brain, there are four specific regions that are most affected. These include the hypothalamic and epiphysial regions as well as the thalamus area.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms associated with germinoma. As with all tumors, the symptoms that are experienced by each patient will be dependent upon the exact location of the growth, as well as the overall size of the tumor. The symptoms will also be dependent upon the rate in which the tumor is growing.

One of the most common issues that occur when it comes to this type of tumor is the blockage that is experienced with the spinal fluid that is in and around the brain of the body. This has the capability of causing pressure in the head. In turn, it results in moderate to severe headaches, double and blurred vision, as well as vomiting. In some instances, the tumor may result in a complete loss of vision.

Diagnosis

When a medical professional feels as if a person may be suffering from a germinoma, they will often refer an individual to a neurologist. The neurologist will start the diagnostic session by asking questions pertaining to medical history of patient. Once this has been conducted, a MRI scan is most commonly used to get an accurate picture of the body of the patient – with a special emphasis placed on the head region.

The patient is often issued a contrast intravenously. This assists in enhancing the components of regions of the body that are being evaluated. In most cases, the areas of interest are the spinal cord and the brain. If further diagnostic tests are required, many neurologists will take a sample of the fluid of the spinal cord. This will help the doctor determine if there are abnormal or cancerous cells in the spinal fluid.

Treatment

There are a couple of different treatment measures that may be used to treat those that have a germinoma tumor. While it is common for a doctor to take a biopsy when it comes to diagnosing the condition, resection surgery may also come into play. In many patients, radiation is a common means of treating this type of tumor.

For some patients, the most productive means of treating this type of tumor is chemotherapy. If you are diagnosed with this type of tumor, it is absolutely essential to ensure that you follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to treating the condition.