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What is Wilms tumor?
Wilms tumor is a rare pediatric kidney cancer that typically affects children under the age of 4. It most often occurs in just one kidney, though it can sometimes be found in both kidneys at the same time.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Recognizing the signs of Wilms tumor
This may include:
Pain in the belly, but some children have no pain
Blood in the urine
High blood pressure
Loss of appetite
Wilms tumor diagnosis
Your child’s doctor will do a full physical exam and take a detailed medical history. Additional tests may include:
If your child has been diagnosed with Wilms tumor, the doctor will assign a stage. Staging helps determine the treatment options:
The cancer is found only in one kidney, is completely contained within the kidney and can be completely removed with surgery.
The cancer has spread to the tissues and structures beyond the affected kidney, but it can still be completely removed by surgery.
The cancer has spread beyond the stomach and cannot be completely removed by surgery.
How we treat Wilms tumor
Treatment involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. For patients with advanced disease, radiation therapy may be recommended.
Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders
Our UW Health Kids | 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 more about our clinical trials
Meet our team
Your child is in capable hands
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)
Child Life specialists
Pain management specialists
Physical, occupational and speech therapists
Radiologists and radiation technologists
UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center specialists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including rare cancers such as Wilms tumor.
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.
Care for your child
American Family Children’s Hospital
Receiving care from the pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at American Family Children’s Hospital means you have access to the knowledge and skills of many medical and support specialists for your child’s complex health diagnosis like cancer.
Patient and support services
You’re never alone
There are services available at both American Family Children’s Hospital and in the community to help patients and their families through every step of their journey.
Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties, and the American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:
Positive Image Center
Spiritual care services
Tyler's Place (sibling child care)
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