Source: Cancer Resource Room
Wilms’ tumor is a disease in which
cancer (malignant) cells are found in
certain parts of the kidney. The kidneys
are a “matched” pair of organs
found on either side of the backbone.
The kidneys are shaped like a kidney
bean. Inside each kidney are tiny tubes
that filter and clean the blood, taking
out unneeded products, and making urine.
The urine made by the kidneys passes
through a tube called a ureter into the
bladder where it is held until it is
passed from the body.
are the symptoms and how is Wilms’ tumor diagnosed?
tumor is curable in the majority of affected
children. If your child has symptoms,
your child’s doctor will usually
feel your childs abdomen for lumps and
run blood and urine tests. The doctor
may order a special x-ray called an intravenous
pyelogram. During this test, a dye containing
iodine is injected into your childs bloodstream.
This allows your childs doctor to see
the kidney more clearly on the x-ray.
Your childs doctor may also do an ultrasound,
which uses sound waves to make a picture,
or a special x-ray called a computed tomographic
scan to look for lumps in the kidney.
A special scan called magnetic resonance
imaging, which uses magnetic waves to
make a picture, may also be done. Chest
and bone x-rays may also be taken.
If abnormal tissue is found, your childs
doctor will need to cut out a small piece
and look at it under the microscope to
see if there are any cancer cells. This
is called a biopsy.
In Wilms’ tumor, how the cancer cells
look under a microscope (histology) is
also very important. The cancer cells
can be of favorable histology or unfavorable
histology (which includes focal and diffuse
Your childs chance of recovery (prognosis)
and choice of treatment depend on the
stage of your childs cancer (whether it
is just in the kidney only or has spread
to other places in the body), how the
cancer cells look under a microscope (histology),
tumor size, and your childs age and general
What Are Other Childhood Kidney
Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney, rhabdoid
tumor of the kidney, and neuroepithelial
tumor of the kidney are childhood kidney
tumors unrelated to Wilms tumor. The treatment
of these tumors is different from that
of Wilms tumor but because of their location
near the kidneys, they have been treated
on clinical trials developed by the National
Wilms Tumor Study Group.
Stages of Wilms tumor
Once Wilms tumor has been found,
more tests will be done to find out if
cancer cells have spread from the kidney
to other parts of the body. This is called
staging. Your childs doctor needs to know
the stage of the disease to plan treatment.
The following stages are used for Wilms
Cancer is found only in the kidney and
can be completely removed by surgery.
Cancer has spread beyond the kidney, to
fat or soft tissue or blood vessels. The
cancer can be completely removed by surgery.
Cancer has spread within the abdomen and
cannot be completely removed by surgery.
The cancer may have spread to the lymph
nodes (small bean-shaped structures found
throughout the body that produce and store
infection-fighting cells) near the kidney,
blood vessels, or the peritoneum (tissue
that lines the abdomen and covers most
organs in the abdomen).
Cancer has spread to other parts of the
body, such as the lungs, liver, bone,
Cancer cells are found in both kidneys
when the disease is first diagnosed.
Recurrent disease means that the cancer
has come back (recurred) after it has
been treated. It may come back where it
started or in another part of the body.
To read more about
Wilms’ tumor >>>
& Education Programs
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