Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Wilms Tumor - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 4/2013
Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Children with Wilms tumor may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with Wilms tumor do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not a tumor. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.     

Usually, Wilms tumor is found before it spreads to other parts of the body. A parent or relative may notice a large lump or feel a hard mass in the child’s belly, or notice that the belly is much larger than usual. In some cases, a rapid change to a larger diaper size alerts parents to the tumor. A few children have abdominal pain, but for most, the tumor grows without causing pain, and the child feels and appears healthy.

Frequently, children with Wilms tumor may experience the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine 
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia (low levels of red blood cells)
  • Fatigue
  • A fever that doesn’t go away

Your child’s doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long your child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of your child’s cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your child’s health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading this guide to learn about what tests and scans your child may have to learn more about the cause of his or her symptoms. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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