Germ Cell Tumor - Childhood: Risk Factors

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of this type of tumor. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause a tumor. Some children with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do.

The following factors may raise a child’s risk of developing an extracranial, gonadal germ cell tumor:

Cryptorchidism. If a boy has an undescended testicle, he has a higher risk of developing a testicular seminoma tumor. To learn more, see the full guide to testicular cancer on another part of Cancer.Net.

Turner syndrome. Turner syndrome is a genetic condition in which a girl is born with a missing X chromosome. Girls with this condition have a higher risk of developing a gonadoblastoma, a benign tumor that can eventually turn into cancer.

Androgen insensitivity syndrome. Androgen insensitivity syndrome is when a person who is genetically male (has one X and one Y chromosome) is resistant to male hormones called androgens. A person with this syndrome has a higher risk of developing a gonadoblastoma or other germ cell tumors.

The following factor may raise a person’s risk of developing an extracranial, extragonadal germ cell tumor:

Klinefelter’s syndrome. Men with this genetic condition are born with an extra X chromosome. Klinefelter’s syndrome is connected to a higher risk of a germ cell tumor in the chest.

To continue reading this guide, use the menu on the side of your screen to select another section.