Wilms Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment - A Detailed Guide

Multiple tests are available to support the accurate diagnosis of Wilms tumor. Upon arriving at an accurate diagnosis, doctors will recommend a personalized treatment plan that will comprise surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other treatments.

How is Wilms Tumor Diagnosed?

The following are the different treatments recommended for Wilms tumor diagnosis:

Physical Exam

Diagnosing Wilms tumor often begins with a thorough physical examination. Doctors carefully examine the abdomen, looking for any unusual masses or swelling. As Wilms tumor primarily affects the kidneys, detecting abnormalities in the abdominal region is crucial for initiating further diagnostic steps.


Ultrasound imaging plays a pivotal role in diagnosing Wilms tumor. It provides a detailed view of the kidneys, helping to identify any abnormal growths or tumors. Recommended as a part of Wilms tumor diagnosis, this non-invasive procedure is particularly valuable for evaluating the size, location, and characteristics of the tumor, laying the groundwork for subsequent diagnostic measures.

CT Scan

A Computed Tomography (CT) scan is a sophisticated imaging technique that enhances the visualization of internal structures, including the kidneys. As a test recommended for Wilms tumor diagnosis, CT scans offer detailed cross-sectional images, aiding in the precise determination of the tumor's size, extent, and potential spread to surrounding tissues or organs.


While less commonly used than other imaging methods, X-rays may be employed to assess the chest area for potential metastasis of Wilms tumor. Chest X-rays help identify any lung abnormalities, supporting a comprehensive evaluation of the disease's stage and progression.

Laboratory Blood Test

Blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), are conducted to assess overall health and identify any abnormalities that may be associated with Wilms tumor. Blood tests provide valuable information on factors such as red and white blood cell counts, helping healthcare professionals understand the impact of the tumor on the body.

Liver Function

Wilms tumor can sometimes affect the liver or cause secondary liver issues. Liver function tests assess the health of the liver by measuring enzyme levels. Abnormalities in these tests may indicate liver involvement, guiding healthcare professionals in refining the diagnosis and treatment plan.


In certain cases, a biopsy may be performed to obtain a tissue sample for detailed examination. While less common due to the potential risk of tumor seeding, a biopsy can provide conclusive evidence of Wilms tumor and help determine its histological type, informing treatment decisions.

Blood Clotting Test

As Wilms tumor can influence blood clotting factors, a blood clotting test may be conducted to assess the risk of abnormal clot formation. This test helps in understanding the broader impact of the tumor on the body's physiological functions and guides doctors in comprehensive patient management.

Wilms Tumor Treatments

Wilms tumor treatment often demands a multidisciplinary approach, wherein specialists from different disciplines study the case and carefully chart a treatment plan that helps the patient recover in the best way possible. The following are the different approaches recommended for Wilms tumor management:

Wilms Surgery

Wilms surgery is a critical component of the nephroblastoma treatment. The surgical approach varies based on factors such as tumor size, location, and stage. Surgery aims to remove the tumor while preserving kidney function whenever possible. The surgical options include nephron-sparing surgery, where only the affected part of the kidney is removed, and more extensive procedures, including the removal of the entire kidney or both kidneys.

Removing Part of the Kidney

In cases where Wilms tumor is localized and confined to a specific area of the kidney, nephron-sparing surgery may be considered. This Wilms tumor surgery involves removing only the affected portion of the kidney while preserving the remaining healthy tissue. Nephron-sparing surgery is an optimal choice for minimizing the impact on kidney function, particularly in situations where the tumor is small and well-defined.

Removing the Kidney and Surrounding Tissue

For larger tumors or those located in certain areas of the kidney, the surgical strategy may involve the complete removal of the affected kidney along with surrounding tissues. This comprehensive Wilms tumor surgery aims to ensure that all cancerous cells are eliminated, reducing the risk of recurrence and providing a more definitive treatment for Wilms tumor.

Removing All or Part of Both Kidneys

In rare instances, especially when Wilms tumor is present in both kidneys or if the tumor is exceptionally large, the surgical intervention may require removing all or part of both kidneys. While this is a more extensive procedure, the goal remains to eradicate the cancer while carefully considering the impact on the child's overall kidney function. In such cases, additional treatments like chemotherapy and, in some instances, kidney transplantation may be explored to support the child's long-term well-being.

Chemotherapy for Wilms Tumor

Chemotherapy is a crucial component of Wilms tumor treatment, especially for cases where the tumor has spread or has a higher risk of recurrence. Wilms tumor chemotherapy utilizes powerful drugs to target and destroy cancer cells throughout the body. This systemic approach helps manage microscopic cancer cells that may not be visible through imaging and reduces the risk of disease recurrence.

Radiation Therapy for Wilms Tumor

In certain situations, radiation therapy may be employed as part of Wilms tumor treatment. This targeted use of high-energy rays helps eliminate cancer cells or shrink tumors. Radiation therapy is carefully tailored to minimize impact on healthy tissues while effectively treating the affected area. It is often considered in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy for a comprehensive treatment approach.

Why Choose HCG for Wilms Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment?

When it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms tumor, choosing an experienced and specialized healthcare provider is paramount. HCG, with its expertise in pediatric oncology, offers a multidisciplinary approach to Wilms tumor care. The team comprises skilled Wilms tumor specialists and support staff who collaborate to provide personalized and comprehensive treatment plans. HCG's commitment to cutting-edge diagnostics and evidence-based therapies ensures that children with Wilms tumors receive the best possible care for improved outcomes and quality of life.


In conclusion, the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms tumor require a comprehensive and tailored approach. From surgical interventions and chemotherapy to radiation therapy, the strategies employed aim to ensure the best possible outcomes for affected children. The multidisciplinary care provided by specialized healthcare teams contributes to a holistic treatment experience, emphasizing both medical expertise and compassionate support for the child and their family throughout the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Side effects of Wilms tumor treatment can vary but may include fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and changes in blood cell counts. These effects are carefully monitored and managed by doctors to minimize discomfort and ensure the well-being of the child undergoing treatment.

Wilms tumor is often highly curable, especially when diagnosed at an early stage. The overall survival rate is favorable, with advancements in treatment contributing to successful outcomes. However, individual prognosis may vary based on factors such as tumor stage, histology, and response to treatment.

Wilms tumor stage 2 treatment typically involves a combination of surgery to remove the tumor and potentially chemotherapy. The specific approach may vary based on individual cases, and healthcare professionals tailor treatment plans to address the unique characteristics of the tumor and optimize outcomes.

With timely and effective treatment, the prognosis for children with Wilms tumor is generally positive. The survival rate is high, and many children go on to lead healthy lives. Regular follow-up care is essential to monitor for any potential recurrence or long-term effects of treatment.

Diagnostic criteria for Wilms tumor include imaging studies such as ultrasound and CT scans, along with clinical assessments. The presence of a solid mass in the kidney, often confirmed through biopsy, is a key factor. Diagnostic criteria also consider the age of the child, as Wilms tumor predominantly affects young children.

Yes, those patients who have exhausted all their treatment options can opt for Wilms tumor clinical trials wherein they can access new treatment drugs and approaches even before they are available on the market. Clinical trials may help improve the survival rates among Wilms tumor patients.