Germ Cell Tumor - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

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 have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer. 

  • 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 any changes your child experiences, 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 figure 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 the symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. You may use the menu to choose another section to read in this guide.