Wilms Tumor Facts

Wilms tumor is a relatively rare cancer, but it is the most common type of kidney cancer in children.

  • Wilms Tumor  is most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old. However, it can occur at any age, from infancy to adolescence.
  • The presentation of Wilms tumor can vary, but common symptoms may include:
    • Abdominal swelling or a palpable mass in the abdomen, often noticed by parents or caregivers
    • Abdominal pain or discomfort
    • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
    • High blood pressure (hypertension)
    • Fever

    The diagnosis of Wilms tumor typically involves a combination of imaging studies (such as ultrasound, CT scan or MRI) and a biopsy of the tumor. Imaging tests help visualize the tumor and assess its size and location, while a biopsy confirms the presence of cancerous cells.

  • Treatment for Wilms tumor usually involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and sometimes radiation therapy. 
    • The primary goal of treatment is to remove the tumor completely while preserving as much healthy kidney tissue as possible. 
    • Chemo may be administered before or after surgery to shrink the tumor and eliminate any remaining cancer cells. 
    • Radiation therapy may be used in certain cases to target residual cancer cells or reduce the risk of recurrence.

The prognosis for children with Wilms tumor is generally favorable, particularly when the tumor is diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly. 

The overall survival rate for Wilms tumor is high, with more than 90% of children surviving long-term. 

However, prognosis may vary depending on factors such as the stage of the tumor, the presence of any genetic abnormalities and the response to treatment.