LWB Community Blog

Meet Hayes: Focus on Teratoma


An orphanage recently contacted us who had taken in a baby with a very large tumor on his lower hip and back area. We made arrangements to move baby Hayes to Shanghai to be evaluated for possible surgery. Hayes was diagnosed with a teratoma, a solid tumor which is present at birth.


While the size of some of them can be quite alarming to new parents, thankfully most of these tumors are benign in newborns. However, there is always a possibility they could be malignant, depending on the types of cells which are involved, so medical evaluations are always needed. We are so happy his orphanage reached out for assistance.

Teratomas can occur in any area of the body, but the most common ones are listed below:

Sacrococcygeal (sacrum and tailbone) – 40%
Ovary – 25%
Testicle – 12%
Brain – 5%
Other (including the neck and eye) – 18%

Teratomas normally form very early on in fetal development, and they can sometimes be fatal in utero if they become too vascular, as the baby’s body cannot maintain blood flow to both the tumor and the internal organs.

In almost all cases, total surgical resection after birth is the goal. Often, structures surrounding the tumor are resected as well, such as the tailbone, to prevent the tumor from returning. Recurrence in a completely resected, mature teratoma is less than 10%, and thankfully after tumor removal, most babies have excellent outcomes.


Hayes underwent surgery this past week to remove the rapidly growing tumor. Since his tumor was on his back side, he had to spend a few days lying flat on his stomach. We all waited for the pathology report to come out, and we are thrilled to report that little Haye’s tumor was completely benign! He is being discharged from the hospital this week to recover in one of our healing homes, where he will continue to get a lot of “tummy time” while his incision fully heals.


We know you will join with us in celebrating that baby Hayes is cancer free. Now, onto the important business of being held and loved on!

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