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Posted by Mac on June 04, 1999 at 23:20:43
My father passed away with what was confirmed on autopsy as a germinoma that originated around the kidneys at the age of 50 (1977).  His first symptom was microhematuria.  I am now 45 and was diagnosed at 35 with benign familial hematuria.  Is it possible that I could inherit this disease and if so, what should I do to screen for it in lieu of a simple urinalysis.  I am in very good health and because I am a pilot, I must have annual physicals (EKG, blood, urinalysis) but I am concerned that my benign hematuria could mask early warning signs.  Thank you in advance.

Posted by HFHS M.D.-CK on June 08, 1999 at 12:30:38

Dear Mac,
A germ cell tumor that begins near a kidney is referred to as a retroperitoneal germ cell tumor.  Most germ cell tumors begin in the testicles, but 5% of germ cell tumors are outside the testicles (extragonadal) as in the case of a retroperitoneal tumor.  Retroperitoneal germ cell tumors usually occur with symptoms of advanced disease, namely, abdominal pain, back pain, or feeling an abdominal mass.  Hematuria is possible if the tumor invades the urinary tract. Usually the tumor is quite bulky and chemotherapy is used.  Subsequent surgery may also be necessary.
This tumor is not thought to be inherited.  Benign familial hematuria would refer to an inherited kidney disorder allowing extra red blood cells to leak through the kidney's filtering system. Your hematuria should be reevaluated if associated with irritative voiding complaints, infection, flank pain, blood you can see, or increasing levels of microscopic hematuria.
This information is provided for general medical information purposes only. Please consult  your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition. More individualized care is available through our department at the Henry Ford Hospital  and its suburban locations (I-800-653-6568).
  * Keyword: germ cell tumor, retroperitoneal, extragonadal

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