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What is Wilms tumor?

What is Wilms tumor?

In children, Wilms tumor is the most common kidney cancer. As diagnosed by experts like Nephrologist in Karachi it is more common unilaterally, with 5 percent incidence of bilateral tumor. This tumor has high occurrence rate in children under the age of 5 years, and is less common in children under this age. Full recovery is possible with timely diagnosis and treatment. Read on to know more about Wim’s tumor, its symptomatology and management:

What is Wilms tumor?

Also known as nephroblastoma, Wilms tumor is kidney cancer, most prevalent in children under the age of 5 years. In fact, this is the most common cancer in this age group. Wilms tumor is divided into two types, based on the histology or microscopic architecture of the cancer. The cancers with favorable histology are the ones that have not much change or anaplasia. About 9 out of every 10 cases of Wilms tumor are of this type.

The other type of Wilms tumor is one having anaplastic histology in which the cancer cells have distorted histology and are very large. These tumors are notoriously harder to treat, and also spread faster than the other kind.

What are the symptoms of Wilms tumor?

Wilms tumor do not often present with particular symptoms. In some children, there are no obvious signs and the diagnosis is made on investigation. In others, the following signs and symptoms are present:

  • Palpable abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

In some cases, the tumors can grow quite large before being noticed. The average size of the tumor is one pound.

What are the risk factors for Wilms tumor?

The following are the risk factors for this type of tumor:

  • Children between 3 to 5 years of age
  • Family history of tumor
  • Babies born with birth defects like ectopic testicles, opening of the urethra on the underside of penis (hypospadias), oversized leg or arm, partial lack or complete lack of iris in the eye (aniridia) or any other rare health condition.
  • This type of tumorhas a female predominance.
  • Children with certain health conditions are more prone to developing Wilms tumor. These conditions include: WAGR syndrome, microcephaly—baby born with small head, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome—causing large sized internal organs, and boys with Denys-DrashSyndrome—with gonadal dysgenesis and boys having female traits as well.

How is Wilms tumor diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Wilms tumor involves a complete history and diagnosis of the patient, along with blood tests and urine tests to check how well the kidneys and liver are working. This is followed by imaging tests like MRI, CT scan and ultrasound to find the size of lesion, as well as, involvement of surrounding structures. Bone scan and biopsy of the kidneys, are also part of the diagnostic investigations for Wilms tumor.

How is Wilms tumor treated?

The treatment of Wilms tumor is based on chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Surgery: the procedures approved for Wilms tumor includes partial or radical nephrectomy, or removal of both kidneys.

Chemotherapy: certain chemotherapeutic medications are used to fight cancer cells in the body. The side effects for chemotherapy include:fatigue, mouth sores, loss of appetite and bruising.

Radiation: strong radiation from a machine are used to kill cancer cell. Radiation therapy is used for Wilms tumor stage III and above.

The outlook for this type of tumor is good. Children who are diagnosed and managed timely by healthcare experts, available for booking atoladoc.com can have cancer remission. Thereafter, the children have regular visits to the doctor to ensure they remain disease-free.

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