Germ Cell Tumor - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2014

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.

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Constipation, which is infrequent or difficult passage of stool
  • Urinary retention, meaning the inability to urinate
  • Cough and/or difficulty breathing

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often your child has been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If a germ cell tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms 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.