ON THIS PAGE: You will read about your child’s medical care after treatment for Wilms tumor is finished and why this follow-up care is important. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.
After treatment for Wilms tumor ends, talk with your child’s doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your child’s recovery for the coming months and years. All children treated for cancer, including Wilms tumor, should have life-long, follow-up care.
Follow-up care for Wilms tumor includes regular visits to the doctor for physical examinations, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays. At first, these visits and tests will be more frequent, such as every three months. Eventually, the time between checkups will increase until five years after treatment when your child will be scheduled for a follow-up visit once a year.
The longer the time since treatment ended, the less likely the tumor will return. At this point, monitoring for late effects becomes an important part of follow-up visits. During follow-up visits, patients will have blood tests to make sure that there have not been any changes in the functioning of their kidney. This is especially important for patients who have one kidney or had a partial nephrectomy.
Based on the type of treatment your child received, the doctor will determine what examinations and tests are needed to check for long-term side effects (see the Late Effects of Treatment section) and the possibility of secondary cancers. Your child’s doctor can recommend the necessary screening tests. Follow-up care should also address your child’s quality of life, including any developmental or emotional concerns. Learn more about childhood cancer survivorship.
You are encouraged to organize and keep a record of your child’s medical information. That way, as your child enters adulthood, he or she has a clear, written history of the diagnosis, the treatment given, and the doctor’s recommendations about the schedule for follow-up care. The doctor’s office can help you create this. This information will be valuable to doctors who care for your child during his or her lifetime. ASCO offers cancer treatment summary forms to help keep track of the treatment your child received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.
Children who have had cancer can also enhance the quality of their future by following established guidelines for good health into and through adulthood, including not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and participating in regular physical activity. Patients and their families should discuss with their doctors whether there are any limitations to their activities or sports involvement. Also, children who have been treated for cancer need to protect their skin from the sun by using sunblock and watch any suspicious skin changes.
Talk with the doctor about developing a plan that is best for your child’s needs. Learn more about the next steps to take in survivorship.
The next section offers a list of questions you may want to ask. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Questions to Ask the Doctor, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.