Navigate Up

Men's Center - A-Z Index

#
Q
Y
Z

Print This Page

Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor

Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor is a rare cancer of the ovaries. The cancer cells produce and release a male sex hormone.

Alternative Names

Sertoli-stromal cell tumor; Arrhenoblastoma; Androblastoma

Causes

The exact cause of this tumor is not known. Changes (mutations) in genes may play a role.

Sertoli-Leydig tumors occur most often in young women 20 to 30 years old. But the tumor can occur at any age.

Symptoms

The Sertoli cells are normally located in the male reproductive glands (the testes). They feed sperm cells. The Leydig cells, also located in the testes, release a male sex hormone called testosterone .

These cells are also found in a woman's ovaries, and in very rare cases lead to cancer. A Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor is a cancer that starts in the female ovaries, usually in younger women. The cancer cells release a male sex hormone. As a result, the woman may develop symptoms such as:

  • A deep voice
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Facial hair
  • Loss in breast size
  • Stopping of menstrual periods

Pain in the lower belly (pelvic area) is another symptom. It is usually due to the tumor pressing on nearby structures

Exams and Tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and a pelvic exam, and ask about your symptoms.

Tests will be ordered to check the levels of female and male hormones, including testosterone .

An ultrasound or another imaging test will likely be done to find out where the tumor is and its size and shape.

Treatment

Surgery is done to remove one or both ovaries.

If the tumor is advanced stage, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be done after surgery.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Early treatment results in a good outcome. Feminine characteristics usually return after surgery. But male characteristics resolve more slowly.

For more advanced stage tumors, outlook is less positive.

References

Coleman RL, Ramirez PT, Gershenson DM. Neoplastic diseases of the ovary: Screening, benign and malignant epithelial and germ cell neoplasms, sex-cord stromal tumors. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 33.

Updated: 5/29/2014

Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com