Why choose us for Wilms tumor care?
Wilms tumor is a rare type of kidney cancer that mostly affects young children around the age of 3. At Mays Cancer Center, well-known pediatric experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms tumor.
Our multidisciplinary care approach is uncommon in South Texas. It ensures your child is well cared for by a team of cancer specialists (oncologists) close to home. We work together to personalize your child’s care using the latest therapies, which may include promising clinical trials for eligible patients. Wilms tumor treatment is part of our pediatric hematology-oncology program.
What you need to know about Wilms tumor
- Wilms tumor, also called nephroblastoma, usually affects young children under age 5, but it can also affect adults in rare cases. It is the most common type of childhood kidney cancer.
- In this type of kidney cancer, cancer cells typically develop inside one kidney. In some cases, cancer grows inside both kidneys.
- Children with specific genetic disorders, such as a Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome or Denys-Drash syndrome, or birth anomalies (like a missing iris in the eye) may be more likely to develop Wilms tumor.
- Our team includes pediatric oncologists and genetic counselors who can help assess your child’s risk of developing Wilms tumor. For some children, regular ultrasound screenings of the kidneys can help detect Wilms tumor in early stages, when treatment is most effective.
How to talk to your doctor about Wilms tumor
You can trust our pediatric oncology team to have your child’s best interest in mind at all times. We are here to support your family through every aspect of cancer care.
A member of our team will sit down with you to explain everything you need to know about this condition. We will talk through how any potential treatments may affect your child’s health, now or in the future.
We encourage you to bring up questions or concerns at any time. Our team members make themselves available to listen and support you when you need us.
It may be helpful to ask us about:
- Additional tests your child may need to confirm a diagnosis or check treatment progress
- Cancer stage, including the size of a tumor and whether it has spread
- Treatment options, including clinical trials that may enhance your child’s care
- Potential treatment side effects, including how treatments could affect your child in adolescence or adulthood
- Support services that help your child and family cope with the changes a cancer diagnosis brings about
Doctors classify Wilms tumors based on the look and shape of tumor cells when analyzed under a microscope:
- Favorable histology refers to cancer cells that have minor differences from noncancerous cells. This type of cancer makes up the majority of Wilms tumor cases. It often responds well to treatment.
- Anaplastic histology is what doctors call cancer cells that look drastically different (in size or shape) from noncancerous cells. Tumors with anaplastic histology are sometimes more challenging to treat.