What Is Wilms’ Tumor?
Named after Max Wilms, Wilms’ tumor is a type of cancer which usually begins in the kidneys. It is highly common in children, between the ages of 3 to 4, but rare in adults.
It can either affect one or both kidneys adversely. Over the time there has been improvements in the diagnostic process of Wilms’ tumor which has led to better treatment and prognosis.
Success of the treatment depends upon the stage of cancer, and the overall health of the affected patient.
The stages of Wilms’ tumor are:
- Stage I
The cancer is limited to only one kidney and generally can be completely removed with surgery.
- Stage II
The cancer has spread to the tissues and structures near the affected kidney, but can still be completely removed by surgery.
- Stage III
The cancer has spread beyond the kidney area to nearby lymph nodes and may not be completely removed by surgery.
- Stage IV
The cancer has spread to distant structures, such as the lungs, liver, bones or brain.
- Stage V
Cancer cells have spread in both kidneys.
Causes Of Wilms’ Tumor:
The definite cause of Wilms’ tumor is yet unknown.
However, it is known that it begins after cells mutate after undergoing errors in their DNA. This mutation involves the uncontrollable division and growth of the affected cells. If this process goes on, the neighboring healthy cells may die. The accumulating cells then form a tumor.
If the affected cells are in the kidney, the tumor is dubbed to be Wilms’ tumor.
The cause of the mutation is not known. There is no known connection which may suggest that Wilms’ tumor may be hereditary.
Wilms’ tumor generally occurs in children with certain abnormalities present at birth, including:
- Undescended testicles.
Symptoms Of Wilms’ Tumor:
Wilms’ tumor may not cause any signs and symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they are among the following:
- Abdominal swelling
- An abdominal mass
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- High blood pressure
Diagnosis Of Wilms’ Tumor:
Wilms’ tumor can be diagnosed via:
- A physical examination
- Blood and urine tests, which provides an overall assessment of child’s health.
- Imaging tests.
The tumor or the entire kidney is removed in order to determine whether the tumor is cancerous.
Treatment Of Wilms’ Tumor:
The following treatment options are available:
- Surgery to remove all or part of the kidney
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials
By : Natural Health News