Germ Cell Tumor - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

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

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A child with an extracranial, extragonadal germ cell tumor may experience the following symptoms and signs. Sometimes, children with this type of tumor do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not a germ cell tumor. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Constipation (infrequent or difficult passage of stool)
  • Urinary retention (inability to urinate)
  • Cough and/or difficulty breathing

Your child’s doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long your child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If a germ cell tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of your child’s medical care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your child’s health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.