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Rare Tumor Grows Teeth

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In Maryland a 4 month old child underwent brain surgery to remove a rare kind of tumor. To the surprise of the doctors attending, the tumor had several fully formed teeth growing inside the tumor.

According to New England Journal of Medicine the child’s parents had been noticing a greater increase in the size of the child’s head for his age, and a brain scan revealed a rare kind of tumor called a craniopharyngioma with structures that resembled teeth growing in it.

The tumor was removed successfully and the child is doing well. Since craniopharyngioma’s normally form near the pituitary gland, hormone-replacement therapy is administered. According to St. Jude Children’s Hospital these tumors grow as a result from cells that fail to migrate to their usual areas in the fetal stage of development. They can interfere with the structures surrounding them causing many serious problems. However, the rare development of teeth in this tumor was certainly unexpected.

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