Wilms Tumour : How Do Children Get Wilms Tumour?

Pediatric Surgeon In Pune | Pediatric Specialist in Pune

Wilms tumour: How do children get Wilms tumour?

Wilms tumour

Wilms tumour, also known as nephroblastoma, is a relatively rare form of kidney cancer that predominantly affects children. It typically arises in children between the ages of 3 and 4, but can also occur in slightly older or younger children. While the exact cause of the Wilms tumour is not fully understood, there are several recognized risk factors that may contribute to its development.

Symptoms of Wilms Tumour

The signs and symptoms of Wilms tumours can vary, but may include:

Abdominal swelling or mass

Abdominal pain

Blood in the urine

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Fever

Loss of appetite

Nausea or vomiting

Risk Factors for Wilms Tumour

Genetic Factors:

There are several recognized risk factors that may contribute to its development. Genetic syndromes increase the likelihood of developing Wilms tumours. These include:

WAGR Syndrome: This is characterized by Wilms tumours, aniridia, genitourinary abnormalities, and intellectual disability.

Denys-Drash Syndrome: This syndrome involves Wilms tumours, early-onset kidney disease, and male pseudohermaphroditism.

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: This condition involves overgrowth, omphalocele, macroglossia, and an increased risk of Wilms tumours and other tumours.

Family History:

Children with a family history of Wilms tumours or other childhood cancers have an elevated risk of developing the disease. Genetic predispositions inherited from parents or close relatives may contribute to this increased risk.

Congenital Abnormalities: Certain congenital abnormalities of the urinary tract or related structures may predispose children to Wilms tumours. These abnormalities include:

Undescended Testicles: Failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum.

Urinary Tract Abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder may increase the risk of Wilms tumour.

Treatment for Wilms tumour:

Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for Wilms tumours. It involves removing the affected kidney and, sometimes, some surrounding tissue.  Pediatric surgeons can help children with Wilms tumours get better faster and reduce problems after the surgery.

Chemotharapy

After surgery, chemotherapy is used to kill any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of the tumour coming back. This involves powerful medications that destroy cancer cells throughout the body.

Radiation therapy

In some cases, radiation therapy might be recommended to target any leftover cancer cells. It’s usually considered when the tumour is at a higher stage or certain risk factors are present.

Regular follow-up

Appointments are important after treatment to monitor the child’s progress and address any potential long-term effects of the treatment.

The specific treatment plan depends on factors like the stage of the tumour, the child’s overall health, and other individual considerations.

Conclusion

If your child has a Wilms tumour, it can be a stressful time. Every child is different, but most children recover from Wilms tumours and go on to live a long, healthy life.

Consulting with a pediatric doctor will provide access to a wealth of resources to assist the child and the entire family through the process. With appropriate support and medical care, most children with Wilms tumours can recover and lead long, healthy lives.