Skip to main content

How to Treat Wilms Tumor

Wilms tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, is a rare kidney cancer that can affect children. This condition is most common in children age under 10 years, to be precise, in children aged between 3 to 4 years. In addition, Wilms tumor is more common in girls than in boys. Then how to treat Wilms tumor? Before discussing how to treat it, first know the cause, and identify the symptoms.

How to Treat Wilms Tumor

Generally, Wilms tumor will only attack one kidney. However, it does not rule out the tumor can attack both kidneys. In addition, Wilms tumor can also spread from the kidneys to other parts of the body, such as to the lymph nodes in the stomach or to the lungs.

Even so, most children with Wilms tumor can grow into adults if they get the right treatment right away. This is because technology for the examination and treatment of Wilms tumor has developed rapidly so that Wilms tumor can be resolved properly.

Causes of Wilms Tumor

Until now, the cause of Wilms tumor is not known with certainty. However, there are several factors that are thought to increase the risk of a child suffering from Wilms tumor, including:

1. Genetic factors

A child who has a family history of Wilms tumors will be more at risk of wilms tumors.

2. Congenital abnormalities

In children who suffer from congenital abnormalities will be more at risk of developing Wilms tumor, such as:

  • Aniridia, is a child with the condition does not have part or all of the iris of the eye from birth
  • Hemihypertrophy, which is when one of the hands or feet has a greater condition compared to the rest of the body
  • Hypospadias, which is when the urethral opening in the penis is not in its proper position
  • Cryptorchidism, which is when the testicles do not descend into the scrotum at birth

3. Rare diseases

Some of the following rare diseases can also increase the risk of children suffering from Wilms tumors:

  • WAGR syndrome is a rare disease that is a combination of Wilms tumor, aniridia, abnormalities in the urinary tract and genital organs, and mental retardation
  • Denys-Drash syndrome, is a combined condition of kidney disease and abnormalities in the testicles
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, is a baby with a birth weight condition above the average that is more than 4 kg, accompanied by abnormal growth in organs and limbs

Symptoms of Wilms Tumor

Signs and symptoms of Wilms tumor generally include pain and swelling in the abdomen.

Then, other complaints that can also accompany it are:

  • Constipated
  • Bloody urine (hematuria)
  • Lumps in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The body feels very tired and weak
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

How to Treat Wilms Tumor

If your child shows signs and symptoms of Wilms tumors, you should immediately take your child to the doctor for examination.

The doctor will generally perform a thorough physical examination on the child who has abnormalities at birth. The purpose of this examination is to check the risk of wilms tumors.

If your child has risk factors for Wilms tumors, it's best to see your child with a doctor every 3-4 months until your child is 7 years old. The goal is to detect Wilms' tumor early.

As a first step to diagnosing, the doctor will ask about the medical history and symptoms experienced by the patient. After that, the doctor will perform several physical examinations to detect the presence of Wilms' tumor.

To further confirm the diagnosis, the doctor can advise the patient to undergo several other tests, including:

  • Urine tests and blood tests, to check the patient's kidney function and liver function, check the blood cell count, andoverall health condition
  • Scanning with X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, to see in more detail the condition of the kidneys and other organs
  • Biopsy, for further examination in the laboratory by taking a sample of tumor tissue

The treatment for Wilms' tumor will be carried out by a team of doctors consisting of pediatricians, oncologists, urologists, and pediatric surgeons. The team of doctors will determine the steps for treating Wilms' tumor based on the age, severity of the tumor, and overall health of the child.

There are 3 methods of wilms tumor treatment that can be done, namely:

1. Nephrectomy surgery

Nephrectomy is a Wilms tumor treatment procedure by removing one or both of the affected kidneys. The purpose of this action is to prevent cancer cells from spreading to the abdomen. Please note, patients who undergo surgical removal of both kidneys must undergo a dialysis procedure (hemodialysis) for the rest of their lives, or receive a kidney donor.

2. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a procedure of administering drugs that aim to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually performed if the tumor is large enough or cannot be completely surgically removed. Chemotherapy is sometimes also done before undergoing surgery to shrink the size of the tumor so that it can be more easily removed.

3. Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is a procedure performed to destroy cancer cells using X-rays. This treatment procedure can be an option for patients with tumor conditions that have spread to other organs of the body.

During treatment, the doctor will give medication to relieve side effects such as pain, fever, nausea and vomiting and to prevent infection.

Although most Wilms tumors can heal after treatment, the doctor will advise the patient to undergo periodic examinations during the first 2 years after treatment.

Wilms Tumor Complications

Complications of Wilms tumors can occur if the tumor has invaded other organs, such as the liver, lungs, bones, lymph nodes, or brain. Some of the complications caused by Wilms tumors are as follows:

  • Hypertension due to disorders of the kidneys as a blood pressure regulator
  • Impaired kidney function, especially if the tumor strikes in both kidneys
  • Impaired growth and development of children

How to Prevent Wilms Tumor

Most cases of Wilms tumor are not known how to prevent it. However, the risk factors that can trigger the occurrence of Wilms tumor can be avoided.

In children born to parents with a history of Wilms tumor, it is better to have regular examinations. This aims to detect the appearance of Wilms tumors early, so that treatment can be done as soon as possible.

That's an explanation of how to treat Wilms tumor along with things related to Wilms tumor, hopefully it can be useful.

Comment Policy: Please write your comments according to the topic of this page post. Comments containing links will not be accessed until they are approved.
Open Comments
Close Comments