The Weird Truth About Tumors That Can Grow Hair And Teeth

Tumors can often bring to mind thoughts of cancer and the often tragic results that come with either recovering or not recovering. Though understandable, it is important to keep in mind that, according to Healthline, benign tumors are more likely to develop than those which metastasize into cancer. As for prevention and treatment, while genetics and environmental changes can play a role in triggering such conditions, it is more often that the origin of a tumor simply can’t be solidly identified. However, there is a certain type of tumor that not only has some likely sources but can take on surprisingly unsettling forms. 

Teratomas are usually identified when a tumor is constituted not only by a mass of cells in a given area, but identifiable body parts in varying states of development such as teeth, hair, organs, and bones (via Healthline). While most commonly found in the pelvic area, a teratoma can be found anywhere in the body (via cancer.gov). They are not necessarily cancerous, but as with normal tumors, their placement can still be deadly.

A teratoma was responsible for a revolutionary operation

While the theoretical triggers of teratomas vary, they are often attributed to either a twin that failed to properly develop or a fault in the person’s germ cells (which specialize in the normal production of the body parts typically found in teratomas). Depending on where they form, a teratoma can often require radical action to save the patient’s life; as was the case for Tucker Roussin. According to CBS News, doctors realized that a teratoma was growing in Roussin’s chest cavity and that it would likely be fatal if left. Despite the fact that he had not even been born yet, the extraordinary surgeons managed to successfully remove the tumor while Roussin was still in his mother’s womb. 

Even still, removal can have lasting consequences. Per Rolling Stone, musician Joey Ramone of the Ramones was reportedly born with a teratoma that supposedly formed from his twin. Although it was removed, he suffered from ailments likely stemming from the operation before eventually passing away of cancer. Roussin and Ramone’s experiences show perfectly that there are no certainties in life, and that the struggle to remain healthy can be an extremely difficult endeavor.

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