Wilms Tumor

Know More About Wilms Tumor

Wilms tumor is primarily found in children and occurs in the kidney. The most common identification of this type of kidney cancer is a lump or mass that can be felt around the abdominal area. It can occur in either one or both kidneys. Often, multiple tumors can occur in the kidneys and can even spread to other parts of the body. This process is known as metastasis.

In some cases, Wilms tumor may not even develop in the kidneys and would rather be found in body areas like the abdomen, lower back, genital tract, bladder, and chest. The development of tumors in these areas cannot be comprehended properly. It is generally diagnosed before the age of 5.

What are the causes of Wilms Tumor?

  • Any form of cancer primarily develops due to mutations occurring in the genes. In the case of Wilms tumor, also called Embryonal adenosarcoma, the changes occur in the CTNNB1 gene or AMER1 gene, and WT1 gene. These genes promote the formation of proteins that lead to cell proliferation.
  • Certain kidney tissues might not be fully developed and are known as nephrogenic rests. The gene mutations cause these immature cells to divide uncontrollably and form tumors in one or both kidneys.
  • Another possible occurrence of this tumor can be associated with malfunctioning occurring the short arm of chromosome 11. Here, the genes, H19 and IGF2 are subject to getting turned on or off depending on the parent-specific gene activation called genomic imprinting. The inactivity of the H19 gene that restricts the cell growth and enhancement of the IGF2 gene’s activity responsible for cell multiplications forms tumors in the kidneys.
  • Nearly 10% of Wilms tumor cases are caused due to germline mutations. Autosomal dominant inheritance is the major process involved in such cases. Usually, an X-linked dominant pattern is observed as the AMER1 gene is present on the X chromosome. In both males and females, the mutations in this gene can lead to the formation of tumors at an early stage in life.
  • Wilms tumor can be a by-product of certain syndromes like WAGR syndrome, Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome, and Denys-Drash syndrome.

Types of Wilms Tumor

Depending on the appearance of the cells under the microscope, the Wilms tumor has been divided into two types. These are:

Favorable Histology

The majority of the tumor cells fall into the category of favorable histology. This category signifies that the cancer cells do not have much differentiation among themselves. The histological features include a triphasic pattern of blastema, epithelial, and stromal tissues.


Unfavorable Histology

It is also called Anaplastic Histology. In this case, the cancer cells that are formed are of diverse types. The deformity in the cancer cells makes it hard to be cured and involves complexities. These are less responsive to the treatments given.


Stages of Wilms Tumor

Based on numerous tests performed by the healthcare professionals and physical examinations, the doctor determines at what stage the disease is functioning. The Wilms Tumor has been divided into 5 types.

Stage 1
The tumor occurs in one kidney at this stage and it can be treated with the help of surgery.

Stage 2
At stage 2, the cancer cells start spreading to areas near the kidney but can be removed and treated with the help of surgical procedures.

Stage 3
At this stage, cancer spreads in the abdomen but not beyond that. Even after the surgery, it cannot be removed completely.

Stage 4
Stage 4 is stressful as the tumors start spreading to farther away organs in the body. These include lymph nodes outside the belly, lungs, brain, and bones.

Stage 5
The presence of the tumors in both the kidneys signifies stage 5.

Signs and Symptoms

The children suffering from Wilms tumor may or may not experience the symptoms. However, the major signs and symptoms observed have been stated below.

  • The patient may experience swelling in the belly along with belly pain. A growth of cells can be felt in the affected area.
  • Some of the common symptoms observed are lack of appetite, fever, nausea, constipation, and high blood pressure.
  • Other issues can be the appearance of blood in the urine and shortness of breath.


For the diagnosis of the Wilms tumor, the doctor may ask to perform several tests. Some of them are stated below.

Physical Examination

The doctor will perform a physical examination during which he/she looks for the possible and visible signs and symptoms of the disease.

Imaging Techniques

The most commonly used imaging tests are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT). these help to get a detailed view of the kidneys and help in the detection of the tumors present. Apart from this, ultrasounds could also be performed.

Blood and Urine Tests

These are comparatively minor techniques for identifying if the kidney is functioning properly or not. It can aid in knowing if there are any low blood counts or if there is an issue with the functioning of the organ.

How these treatments can affect the human body?

The treatments being done can lead to harming the healthy cells as well. As a result, the human body might face some post-treatment side effects.

  • The patient may experience issues like hair loss, mouth sores, fatigue, loss of appetite, increased chances of infection, bruising/bleeding occurring more easily, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea or constipation after chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy can have both short-term and long-term side effects. It can slow down the growth of normal body cells and tissues accompanied by possible damage to the kidneys as well.
  • The radiation can lead to causing damage to ovaries in females when operated on the abdominal area. It might cause difficulty in conceiving and the occurrence of abnormal menstrual cycles.
  • Performing surgery in the cases of Wilms tumor can lead to the possibility of internal bleeding, infections, problems with food movement, and blood clots.


Generally, children with favorable histology are cured effectively but the treatment rate reduces in the cases of unfavorable histology. The most commonly used methods of treatment are:


The doctor will perform surgery depending on the severity of the disease. It can be a partial nephrectomy that involves the removal of the tumor along with some healthy cells surrounding it. In a more complex case, the surgeon may have to remove the kidney bearing the top, the adrenal gland present on it, the ureter, and the surrounding tissues.
In severe cases, where tumors are present in both the kidneys, the doctor might be required to remove both of them and keep the child on dialysis till he/she ages right for a kidney transplant.

Radiation Therapy

Strong beams of light are responsible for killing the tumor cells. The machine used for radiation targets the cells specifically and ensures their removal from the body. The radiation therapies are generally administered at stage 3 and above.


Children who suffer from Wilms Tumor are likely to get chemotherapy at least once during their treatment. As the name suggests, a certain combination of chemicals is administered to the body that targets the cancer cells and fights against them.

Surgical Procedures

The doctor could perform eye removal called enucleation. An eye implant could also be made by the doctor where immediately after removing the eye socket, a special eyeball is placed. An artificial eye can also be made to deal with the situation.


How Karma Ayurveda can help you deal with your issues?

Karma Ayurveda is a renowned name for effective Ayurvedic treatments. The organization aims to provide preventive care as well as comprehensive cure to health problems. The highly qualified Ayurveda professionals provide strict diet plans, herbal medications, and trusted guidelines. The success rate gets high due to good knowledge of modern medicines and drugs and Ayurvedic beliefs and their blending.

In the cases of kidney cancers, several herbal extracts have proved to be useful and effective. They contain anti-fungal and anti-microbial agents that promote anti-cancer activities in the body. The dietary counseling, various massages, medications, and Yoga relaxation sessions. It helps boost the energy and immunity of the body. Combinations of Ayurvedic medicine bring balance and harmony to the body.

Why choose Ayurveda?

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Ayurveda integrates both science and the art of living. Several evidence-based pieces of research have shown that the Ayurveda holds the possibility of treating major and minor health problems without any after-effects and has gained global recognition. The self-healing concept is central to the field of Ayurveda. It involves certain therapies like Panchakarma that works on the idea of bio purification, popularly known as Samshodhana.