Teratomas, etc. . .

Earlier today, I gave one of my friends a ride home from school. She mentioned that she had seen a TV show about people with partially-developed parts or remnants of a twin fetus in their bodies. One guy had parts of a hand and teeth in him that caused him pain (which was why they were discovered). I did a search through Cecil’s columns and the message boards and came up with his article on teratomas. However, I’m still strangely curious. Are things like this just weird tumors, or are they actually parts of a twin? How do they develop? I had thought that was just something from King’s The Dark Half. Where can I find more information on this? And did anyone catch that show? (I think my friend mentioned it had something to do with Guiness Book of World Records.)


It was on last night.
“It” weighed 4 pounds. It was not alive, but had developed in different parts to different ages. Parts had quit growing at 5 months into the pregnancy and parts (teeth) were of a 12year old. Yecch! It has some barely recognizeable parts: one arm with hand, fingers and fingernails, a tuft of hair and the teeth. The kid they removed it from was 16. The Drs thought it was a tumor until they looked at it. It was YECCHY!

“Teratoma” now gets my vote for the next “Cool Band Name” thread that pops up.

On a semi-related subject, the rampant lack of genetic regulation in cancerous cells sometimes leads to development of misplaced body parts. Large tumors are sometimes found to have partly-developed teeth or hair, for instance.

teratomas if I recall correctly are tumours that usually arise from ovarian tissue that goes a bit haywire when the foetus is developing. In the early devlopmental stage cells start off as rather undifferentiated things which have the potential to differentiate into any sort of specialised tissue - so an early stem cell could give rise to a line of nerve cells or stomach cells or skin cells etc. What happens in teratomas is that the cells don’t differentiate properly into an ovary like they should, instead you get a hodge podge of all sorts of different tissues and when you look at the tumour you can often see fully formed hair and teeth etc. though the teeth often are a bit malformed.
I’ve seen one - a friend of mine had a pathologist dad and he had all sorts of revolting things preserved in jars, including a teratoma removed from a woman, it had bits of hair, teeth etc. Under the microscope pathologists can identify all sorts other different tissue types in these tumours.

It was my handle until the new board came up, now I’m back to being Badtz Maru.

I also see my old sig is back and my post count has dropped several hundred.

Damn! This is one old-ass thread!! I don’t remember ever posting that.

my friend has two on both ovaries one has since been removed which caused neurological damage which is a rare case… but yeah it grew teeth hair and eyes but it wasnt a fetus.

Cecil’s column about teratomas.

Y’know, there are advantages to scrubbing the last couple of months off the DB… the previous version of this thread had a link to <shudder> pictures.

I had a teratoma removed when I was 23. I wanted to clarify that it is not a fetus, and it is not a form of cancer anymore than your classic ovarian cyst.
It sounds like hair and teeth are the most common components, which mine had as well. Thank goodness it didn’t have eyes, but it did have some bone fragments, and (urk) sweat glands… Note that all of this was inside the tumor - it just looked like a blob on the outside.
For the record, it ruined my ovary, and I only had pain for about three days 4 months before it was discovered at a normal gyno appt. Women - don’t let those slide!
My doctor explained it to me that being a stem cell gone wrong, it has the blue prints to do whatever it wants.

I have a case I got off line of an 8-year-old who had one grow at the base of the brain …this isn’t too uncommon.

In the specific case: “T1 weighted sagittal MRI reveals a mixed signal mass in the suprasellar region, with extension into the sella, interpeduncular cystern, and inferior third ventricle.”

Generally: "Teratoma: Also called a dermoid cyst, this is a bizarre tumor, usually benign, that typically contains a diversity of tissues including hair, teeth, bone, thyroid, etc.

A dermoid cyst develops from a totipotential germ cell (a primary oocyte). Being totipotential, that cell can give rise to all orders of cells necessary to form mature tissues and often-recognizable structures such as hair, bone and sebaceous (oily) material, neural tissue, and teeth.

Dermoid cysts may occur at any age. Dermoid cysts can range in size from a centimeter (less than a half inch) up to 45 cm (about 17 inches) in diameter.

These cysts can cause the organ to which they are attached to twist (torsion) and imperil its blood supply. The larger the dermoid cyst, the greater the risk of rupture with spillage of the greasy contents, which can create problems with adhesions, pain, etc. Although the large majority (about 98%) of these tumors are benign, the remaining fraction (about 2%) become cancerous (malignant)."

The link:

Well, all you have to do is ask! :wink:

Click here to view webpages about teratomas; I’m sure there are all sorts of pictures!

Click here to view all sorts of images of teratomas!

Yes, I’m evil… :wink:

Damn… my hyperlinks still turned out grey! I manually inputted the webpage link into them, too! Oh well… sorry about that!

Note to self: next time include a forward slash at the end of the URL! (see if that helps)

too late. You’ll have to scroll down a bit before you find it.