This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
A sacrococcygeal teratoma is a tumor that grows at the base of the spine in a developing fetus. It occurs in one in 40,000 newborns and girls are four times more likely to be affected than boys. Though it is usually benign, there is a possibility that the teratoma could become malignant. As such, the recommended treatment of a teratoma is complete removal of the tumor by surgery, performed soon after the birth. If not all of the tumor is removed during the initial surgery, the teratoma may grow back (recur) and additional surgeries may be needed. Studies have found that sacrococcygeal teratomas recur in up to 22% of cases.
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