About pediatric hepatoblastoma

Hepatoblastoma is a rare tumor that begins in cells in the liver and primarily affects children from infancy to about 5 years of age.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Pediatric hepatoblastoma signs and symptoms

  • A large mass in the stomach

  • Swollen belly

  • Weight loss

  • Decreased appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Yellowing of eyes and skin

  • Itchy skin

  • Anemia

  • Back pain

Pediatric hepatoblastoma diagnosis

In addition to a complete medical history and full physical exam, special tests will be performed to make a full diagnosis. Additional testing could include:

AFP levels in the blood can be used to diagnose hepatoblastoma and to monitor the response to treatment.

This scan will rotate around the patient and creates a picture of the inside of the body from different angles.

This scan uses magnets and radio waves to allow doctors to see inside the body.

Blood tests are done to look for evidence of disease and any possible effects on other organs of the body, such as the kidney or liver.

A biopsy is not normally done, but may be recommended if the imaging tests are not typical of hepatoblastoma. Tissue might be taken to determine the type of cells.


Hepatoblastoma treatment

Treatment involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. For patients with advanced disease, radiation therapy also might be recommended.

Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders

UW Carbone Cancer Center specialists offer the most advanced treatment options. Our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.

Learn about clinical trials

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UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.


Care for your child

UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center specialists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including rare cancers like hepatoblastoma. 

Our pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, which is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation means that the doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education.

Meet our team

An experienced team providing your child with the care they deserve

Your child’s care is our top priority and we understand the unique needs they have. Your child’s team will include:

  • Oncologists (cancer doctors)

  • Hematologists (blood disease doctors)

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Child life specialists

  • Pain management specialists

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

  • Radiologists and radiation technologists

  • Social workers

  • Surgeons

Patient and support services

You’re never alone

When your child needs hospitalization, they will be admitted to American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis.

Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties. The American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:

  • Hero beads

  • Hospital school

  • Positive Image Center

  • Restoring Hope Transplant House (for blood and bone marrow transplant)

  • Spiritual care services

  • Tyler's Place (sibling child care)

Additional resources

Pediatric cancer services

With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.

Learn more