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Keywords:

  • prepubertal testis tumour;
  • testis sparing surgery;
  • benign testis tumour;
  • teratoma

Authors from the USA present a retrospective review of children in their institution who were treated for testicular cancer. They found that most of the lesions were benign, the commonest being testicular. They also found several malignant and paratesticular lesions, and make recommendations as to the surgical approach.

OBJECTIVE

To report our experience of testicular and paratesticular tumours in children, as such tumours are rare, and historically yolk sac tumour has been described as the most common lesion in children, but recent reports suggest that benign testicular lesions might be more common.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

We reviewed retrospectively the records of children treated for testicular tumours from 1998 to 2005. The patients’ age, clinical presentation, diagnostic procedures, treatment methods, histopathological findings, and outcome were recorded. Patients aged >144 months and those with non-primary metastatic lesions were excluded.

RESULTS

In all, 11 patients met our criteria, with a mean age of 37 months (range 9 days to 144 months). Pathological analysis revealed teratoma in four patients, yolk sac tumour in two, epidermoid cysts in two, extrarenal nephroblastomatosis in one, and paratesticular rhabdomyosarcomas in two. The most common clinical presentation was a painless testicular mass. Depending on the clinical presentation and pathology, scrotal ultrasonography, tumour markers (α-fetoprotein and β-human chorionic gonadotrophin), and/or staging computed tomography (CT) were obtained in eight patients. All patients had a radical orchidectomy. Three patients had elevated tumour markers that normalized after orchidectomy. CT revealed extensive mediastinal adenopathy in one patient with rhabdomyosarcoma. Chemotherapy was administered to both patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.

CONCLUSION

Although there were few patients, most of the lesions were benign tumours, with the most common histological subtype being teratoma. As both malignant and paratesticular lesions occurred at a significant frequency, we would continue to advocate an initial radical inguinal approach at which time testis-sparing could be considered if the preoperative evaluation was favourable, and frozen-section analysis at the time of surgery confirms a benign lesion.