Cancer Home > Wilms' Tumor

Wilms' tumor is a type of kidney cancer that most often affects children. It is the most common type of childhood kidney cancer. Symptoms may include such things as blood in the urine, abdominal pain, fever, and abdominal swelling. Treatment options for this type of cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

What Is Wilms' Tumor?

Wilms' tumor is a disease in which cancer cells are found in certain parts of the kidney. This condition is the most common type of childhood kidney cancer.

Understanding the Kidneys

The kidneys are a matched pair of organs found on either side of the backbone. They are shaped like kidney beans. Inside each kidney are tiny tubes that filter and clean the blood, taking out unneeded products and making urine. The urine passes through a tube called a ureter into the bladder, where it is held until it is passed from the body.

Symptoms of Wilms' Tumor

In early stages of Wilms' tumor, there are usually no symptoms of the disease. However, as the tumor grows, common symptoms of Wilms' tumor can include:
  • Blood in the urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • A lump felt or seen in the abdomen
  • Abdominal swelling.
These symptoms are not sure signs of Wilms' tumor. Other health problems can also cause these symptoms. People with possible signs or symptoms of Wilms' tumor should see a doctor as soon as possible -- only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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