Germ cell tumors are growths that form from reproductive cells. Tumors may be cancerous or noncancerous. Most germ cell tumors that are cancerous occur as cancer of the testicles in males (testicular cancer) or cancer of the ovaries in females (ovarian cancer).

Some germ cell tumors occur in other areas of the body, such as the abdomen, brain and chest, though it's not clear why. Germ cell tumors that occur in places other than the testicles and ovaries (extragonadal germ cell tumors) are very rare.

Germ cell tumors tend to respond to treatment and many can be cured, even when diagnosed at a late stage.

  • Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, specialists in urology, gynecology, surgery, pathology, medical oncology and radiation oncology work together to care for people with germ cell tumors. Other professionals are included as needed.
  • Experience. Many types of germ cell tumors are very rare. Mayo Clinic doctors have experience diagnosing and treating these rare tumors.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. Your treatment options will depend on the specifics of your tumor, but may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

At Mayo Clinic in Arizona, specialists in urology, gynecology, surgery, pathology, medical oncology and radiation oncology work together to care for people with germ cell tumors. For children with germ cell tumors, Mayo Clinic in Arizona has a relationship with Phoenix Children's Hospital to provide care for children and adolescents.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Florida, specialists in urology, gynecology, surgery, pathology, medical oncology and radiation oncology work together to care for people with germ cell tumors. For children with germ cell tumors, Mayo Clinic in Florida has a relationship with Nemours Children's Hospital in Jacksonville to provide care for children and adolescents.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, specialists in urology, gynecology, surgery, pathology, medical oncology and radiation oncology work together to care for people with germ cell tumors. Specialists in pediatric oncology are available to care for children with germ cell tumors.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on germ cell tumors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

May 21, 2013