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Wilm’s Tumors

California Pediatric Surgical Group

General Surgery & Pediatric Surgery located in Santa Barbara, & Ventura, CA

An estimated 500 children in the United States will develop a Wilms tumor this year. At California Pediatric Surgical Group in Santa Barbara, and Ventura, California, offices, the skilled surgical team offers comprehensive surgery care to remove the tumor or the kidney to prevent the spread of cancer. If your child is diagnosed with a Wilms tumor, contact California Pediatric Surgical Group for a consultation. Book online or by calling the office nearest you today.

Wilm’s Tumors Q&A

What is a Wilms tumor?

A Wilms tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, is a common type of kidney cancer in infants and children. The tumor forms from immature cell tissue in the kidneys and is named for the pathologist Dr. Wilms, who first identified the tissues contributing to the tumor.

As the second most common solid tumor in children, Wilms tumors most often develop between the ages of 6 months and 8 years.

What are the symptoms of Wilms tumor?

In many cases, a Wilms tumor presents as a large mass in the abdomen that feels firm. While the mass typically causes no pain, your child may experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Bloody urine
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • High blood pressure

Wilms tumors are often first noticed during bath time or during a well-child check, but if you notice your child has any related symptoms, you should schedule a consultation with your pediatrician as soon as possible.

How is a Wilms tumor diagnosed?

To confirm the presence of a Wilms tumor and rule out other underlying medical conditions, you can expect your child to have a physical exam and undergo diagnostic imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, or abdominal ultrasound. These tests can also determine if the tumor has spread outside of the kidney.

Diagnostic testing is also important for ensuring symptoms aren’t related to neuroblastoma, a type of tumor that affects the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys.

Your child may also need blood work to evaluate the function and overall health of their kidney. Once your pediatrician confirms a Wilms tumor, they can refer you to California Pediatric Surgical Group for a surgical consultation.

Does a Wilms tumor require surgery?

The experienced surgical team at California Pediatric Surgical Group is skilled in surgical techniques to remove a Wilms tumor. The type of technique they use depends on the location of the tumor and how far it’s spread.

If the tumor is only within one kidney, your child’s surgeon may opt to remove the entire kidney and your child likely won’t need any other treatment.

When the tumor affects both kidneys or spreads to the large vein next to the kidney or the lungs, your child may not be a candidate for surgery initially. Instead, they may need a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before the California Pediatric Surgical Group team can remove it surgically.

To learn more about surgical options for a Wilms tumor, schedule a consultation at California Pediatric Surgical Group today using the online booking feature or by calling the office.

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