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Information for Parents

Wilms Tumor /Nephroblastoma

  • What is this disease?

    • Wilms’ tumor is a type of kidney cancer that was named after Dr Max Wilms, who first described it. There are certain cells known as metanephric blastema, which are  involved in the development of the child’s kidneys while they are in the womb. The cells usually disappear at birth, but in many children with Wilms’ tumor, clusters of primitive kidneys cells, called nephrogenic rests can still be found. Some of it may develop into tumor.

  • How it is diagnosed?

    • In a clinically suspicious child, who has lump in abdomen, hematuria etc. , a variety of tests and investigations may be needed to diagnose a Wilms’ tumor. An abdominal ultrasound scan is usually the first thing that is done. This is followed by an MRI and/or CT scan of the abdomen and chest. These scans helps to identify where the tumor is and whether it has spread beyond the kidney. This is known as staging. Urine and blood samples are also  taken to check child’s kidney function and general health. Most children will go on to have a biopsy, where a sample of tissue is taken from the tumor to confirm the diagnosis.

  • How it is treated?

    • Treatment will depend on a number of factors including how the cells appear under the microscope (histology) and the stage of the tumor. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.

  • When it should be operated?

    • The decision to operate will depend upon clinical condition and stage of the tumor.

  • Are there other alternative methods of treatment?

    • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery are all used in different combinations for treatment.

  • What all I need to know before my child surgery?

    • Read “All you need to know before your child's surgery” information booklet in website.

  • How is the surgery done?

    • Surgery involves removal of kidney along with lymph nodes. Either radical nephrectomy or simple nephrectomy with biopsy of lymph nodes are done for staging.

  • Remarks

    • For more details of surgery, contact your surgeon

  • Related Photographs and videos

    • Few photographs of steps done by me is given here for learning purposes

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