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Kidney tumors

Every year, approximately 35 children in the Netherlands are diagnosed with a kidney tumor. These are usually Wilms tumors, but some children have a different kind of kidney tumor. Most of the children are not yet 5 years old. Kidney tumors are just as common in girls as they are in boys. Wilms tumors can already develop in the womb.

The brochure entitled Kidney tumors contains comprehensive information about this disease. The most important information is provided below.

Causes

Kidney tumors are caused by a developmental error in a (progenitor) cell of the supporting cells. Sometimes a piece of DNA is damaged or a part of a chromosome is missing. It is not known exactly what causes this error.


Symptoms

Kidney tumors often do not cause symptoms for quite some time. A swollen abdomen is usually the first indication that something is wrong. Some children have blood in their urine or they have a stomach ache.

How are kidney tumors diagnosed?

In addition to urinalysis, an ultrasound of the abdomen is performed as well as various scans

Treatment

Children with a kidney tumor are treated according to a protocol drawn up by national and international experts. The treatment depends on the stage and the nature of the tumor. A metastasized tumor, or a tumor in two kidneys, requires more intensive treatment than a tumor in one location. Treatment usually consists of 4-6 weeks of chemotherapy, surgery and follow-up chemotherapy treatment. Children under six months old are usually operated immediately.

It is only after the tumor has been examined under the microscope that it can be said with certainty what kind of kidney tumor is involved and what kind of follow-up treatment will be administered. Treatment sometimes includes radiotherapy.

Chance of recovery

If a Wilms tumor is detected early and before it has spread, there is an 80% to 90% chance of recovery. Even if there are metastases, the chances are favorable (75%). Congenital mesoblastic nephroma can usually be cured by surgery alone. In cases of a renal cell carcinoma, a clear cell sarcoma and a rhabdoid tumor, the chances of recovery depend strongly on any metastases. It is difficult to make predictions. Don't be influenced too much by statistics. Every child and every situation is unique.

Questions?

Children with a kidney tumor are treated in the solid tumors department.