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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


extracranial germ cell tumor  listen  (EK-struh-KRAY-nee-ul jerm sel TOO-mer)

  A rare cancer that forms in germ cells in the testicle or ovary, or in germ cells that have traveled to areas of the body other than the brain (such as the chest, abdomen, or tailbone). Germ cells are reproductive cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females.

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Extracranial germ cell tumor; drawing shows parts of the body where extracranial germ cell tumors may form, including the mediastinum (the area between the lungs), retroperitoneum (the area behind the abdominal organs), sacrum, coccyx, testicles (in males), and ovaries (in females). Also shown are the heart and peritoneum.