Wilms Tumor

Overview

What is Wilms tumor?

A Wilms tumor is a type of kidney cancer that usually occurs in children under 5 years, although they can still occur in people of any age. A Wilms tumor is treated through surgery to remove the tumor and sometimes chemotherapy and radiation. Typically only one kidney of the two kidneys is affected by the tumor, so the other kidney should be able to address the body's needs even if the whole Wilms tumor affected kidney must be removed during treatment. The overall cure rate for Wilms tumor is approximately 85%, with about 90% of Stage I, 99% of Stage II, 85% of Stage III, 66% of Stage IV being cured. Most often, an increased chance to have Wilms tumor does not run in families and is a chance happening, but in some cases there can be an underlying genetic cause for the tumor's development. This is more common in the 5%-10% of children who have a Wilms tumor in both kidneys or more than one tumor in a single kidney. To find a genetic professional near you who can evaluate and diagnosis individuals for underlying genetic causes of Wilms tumor visit the American College of Medical Geneticists website www.acmg.net and/or the National Society of Genetic Counselors website: http://www.aboutgeneticcounselors.com/

References
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Are there other names for Wilms tumor?

How common is Wilms tumor?

What is Wilms tumor most often called by doctors?

How many people have Wilms tumor?

What health problems are part of Wilms tumor?

Is Wilms tumor more common in some parts of the world?

Are there other names for Wilms tumor?

Wilms tumor may be broadly described as a kidney tumor or kidney cancer. It can also be called a nephroblastoma. To learn more about Wilms tumor or the names of other kidney cancers, visit the National Cancer Institute's website.

References
How common is Wilms tumor?

Wilms tumor is the most common type of pediatric kidney cancer and makes up about 6 percent of all cancers in children. The incidence of Wilms tumor in Europe and North America is about 1 in 10,000 which means around 500 kids are diagnosed with Wilms tumor in the United States each year. African Americans have the highest risk of having a Wilms tumor, followed by Caucasians and then Asians. Males and females have an equal risk of having a Wilms tumor.

To find out more about how common Wilms tumor is, visit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital website.

References
What is Wilms tumor most often called by doctors?

Wilms tumor is a type of kidney tumor and may be broadly described as kidney cancer. Sometimes, doctors or other healthcare providers will refer to Wilms tumor as Wilms' tumor or nephroblastoma. There are also various different subtypes of Wilms tumors that a doctor may specifically mention, such as "favorable histology" or "anaplastic histology". To learn more about a specific individual's Wilms tumor, speak with the doctor treating the cancer (an oncologist) to review a tumor's subtype and stages. A useful description of Wilms tumor subtypes can be found here.

References
How many people have Wilms tumor?

Wilms tumor makes up about 5-6 percent of all childhood cancers and is the most common type of pediatric kidney cancer. About 500 children in the United States are diagnosed with Wilms tumor every year. To find out more about how common Wilms tumor is, visit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital website.

References
What health problems are part of Wilms tumor?

When someone has a Wilms tumor (WT) , most often it presents as an abdominal mass in an otherwise apparently healthy child. In 25-20% of cases, people with a WT also experience nonspecific symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased tiredness
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia

If Wilms tumor has spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or brain, there may be other symptoms related to those organs like shortness of breath.

Some individuals with Wilms tumors may have additional symptoms that are related to an underlying genetic change these can include:

  • Absence of the iris, the colored part of the eye (aniridia)
  • Urinary or genital anomalies (including ambiguous genitalia)
  • Kidney disease or failure
  • Intellectual disability
  • Being a extra large baby at birth (macrosomia)
  • Ear creases/pits
  • Large tongue (macroglossia)
  • Kidney abnormalities
  • Born with membrane-covered intestines protruding out of the abdomen at birth (omphalocele)
  • Enlarged abdominal organs (liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, or pancreas) (visceromegaly), Other early tumors of the liver, brain, or muscle (hepatoblastoma, neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma)
  • Having one side of the body that grows more than the other (hemihyperplasia)
  • Enlarged cells in the adrenal gland (adrenocortical cytomegaly)

If an individual with Wilms tumor has any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult with a genetics professional. To find a genetic focused healthcare provider near you who can evaluate and diagnosis individuals for underlying genetic causes of Wilms tumor visit the American College of Medical Geneticists website www.acmg.net and/or the National Society of Genetic Counselors website: http://www.aboutgeneticcounselors.com/

References
Is Wilms tumor more common in some parts of the world?

The incidence of Wilms tumor in North America and Europe is similar at about 1 in 10,000 children. This translates into about 1 in 500 kids diagnosed per year in the United States. The incidence of these tumors has been found to be higher among the U.S. African American populations, and lower in Asian populations. Wilms tumors appears to be relatively more common in Africa and least common in East Asia.

References

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