Sacrococcygeal teratoma (patient information)

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Sacrococcygeal teratoma


What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

When to seek urgent medical care?


Treatment options


Where to find medical care for Sacrococcygeal teratoma?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications


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Editor-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Jinhui Wu, M.D.


A sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is the most common tumor in the newborna tumor. It develops at the base of the coccyx. Many children can be diagnosed after birth and will recover fullly after treatment. Usual presentations include a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass sticking out from the fetus's buttocks in fetus peroid by ultrasound, visible lump or mass under the skin at the top of the buttocks crease in childhood, or discomfort and pain in sacrococcygeal region. Treatments invlove surgery and radio frequency ablation.

What are the symptoms of sacrococcygeal teratoma?

*Neonatal and infants tumors: It presents protruding from the sacral site, a visible lump under the skin at the top of the buttocks crease. If not visible, it can sometimes be felt like gently prodded.

*Children tumor: The tumor presents as a palpable mass in the sacropelvic region compressing the bladder or rectum. These may make the child discomfort or pain.

Other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a paediatrician can tell for sure. A person with any of these symptoms should tell the paediatrician so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Who is at risk for sacrococcygeal teratoma?

The cause of sacrococcygeal teratoma is not clear.

How to know you have sacrococcygeal teratoma?

Pregnant peroid

  • Blood level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in women: This is a routine part of prenatal care in pregnancy peroid. For patients suspected sacrococcygeal teratoma, the level is high.
  • Ultrasound: This test uses ultrasound to presentate the image of the tumor. It can show a mass which may be either cystic or solid in appearance or commonly a mixture of both.


  • Ultrasonography: This is an painless test which uses sound waves to create a picture of the internal organs. Because tumors generate different echoes of sound waves than normal tissue, the doctor can locate a mass inside the body.
  • X-ray: This test uses X-ray to demonstrate the image of the tumor. Sometimes the doctor may see the shadow of teeth and bones.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan and biopsy: CT scans are often used to diagnose sacrococcygeal teratoma. It can confirm the location of the tumor and show the organs nearby. These are helpful for determining the stage of the cancer and in determining whether surgery is a good treatment option. CT scans can also be used to guide biopsy and a biopsy sample is usually removed and looked at under a microscope.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic fields but it is a different type of image than what is produced by computed tomography (CT) and produces detailed images of the body. Like computed tomography (CT), a contrast agent may be injected into a patient’s vein to create a better picture.

When to seek urgent medical care?

During the pregnant peroid, be careful to observe any changes of yourself and the fetus. If you experience either of the following symptoms, seeking urgent medical care as soon as possible:

Treatment options

Patients with sacrococcygeal teratoma have many treatment options. Complete surgical removal is the preferred first treatment for SCT. Aafter surgery, the selection of radiation therapy and chemotherapy depends on the stage of the tumor. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.

  • Surgery: This is the most important treatment for sacrococcygeal teratoma.
  • Radiation therapy: This is a cancer treatment to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing by using high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation.
  • Chemotherapy: The treatment is to use drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for sacrococcygeal teratoma?

Directions to Hospitals Treating sacrococcygeal teratoma

Prevention of sacrococcygeal teratoma

Because the cause is not clear, the preventive measure is unknown.

What to expect (Outook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis of sacrococcygeal teratoma depends on the following:

  • The location of the tumor
  • Whether or not the tumor can be removed by surgery
  • The stage of the tumor
  • The patient’s general health
  • Whether the tumor has just been diagnosed or has recurred


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