Wilms Tumor Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Wilms Tumor Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Willms tumor or nephroblastoma is a type of tumor that originates from the kidney, either one or both kidneys. This tumor is the most common type of tumor that affects children aged 3–4 years. The incidence rate in children over 5 years is much less.

The name Willms for this tumor comes from Max Willms, a German doctor who discovered it. This tumor was first discovered in 1899.  

Wilms Tumor Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that can be experienced in Wiilms tumor are:

  • Stomach lump
  • Stomach swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Bloody urine
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hard to breathe
  • Increased blood pressure

Wilms Tumor Reason

Until now, the exact cause of Willms’s tumor is not known. However, a history of tumors in parents and siblings can greatly increase the risk.

Tumors themselves occur due to DNA abnormalities in a cell whose cause is not known for sure. As a result of these DNA abnormalities, kidney cells grow excessively and don’t die easily.

While normal cells die and regenerate, abnormal tumor cells continue to live and increase in number. As a result, cells accumulate and form masses or lumps.


Diagnosis of Willms tumor can be done through various examinations, such as:

  • Physical examination

On physical examination, a lump can be found in the waist or lower back of the child

  • Supporting investigation

    • Laboratory of blood and urine to evaluate the kidney function of the patient’s anemia status
    • Ultrasonography (USG) to see directly the condition of the kidneys using electromagnetic waves
    • Computerized Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging examination that can describe the condition of the kidney, the presence of a tumor along with its size and invasion.

Wilms Tumor Treatment

Treatment for Willms tumor may include:

  • Operation

This operation can be done by removing a small part of the kidney, either one kidney and the surrounding tissue or both kidneys depending on the extent and location of the tumor.

  • Radiotherapy

This therapy is used to suppress the growth of tumor cells and slowly kill them. This option can be an option if the tumor is not completely treated through surgery.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is carried out using drugs that work to kill cancer cells, either by mouth or by inserting them through a vein.

This therapy can also be an option if the tumor is not completely treated by surgery. Chemotherapy can also be done before surgery to reduce the growth of tumor cells and maintain optimal kidney function.


At an advanced stage, tumor cells can spread to other organs such as the liver, lungs and brain. The spread of tumor cells in these organs will affect and reduce the work of these organs.

In the treatment of Willms tumor through the chemotherapy method, various side effects can occur. Starting from hair loss, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea to anemia.


There is no specific prevention to avoid the occurrence of Willms tumor. However, in patients with syndromic disorders, routine examinations with ultrasound of the kidneys can be carried out to detect Willms tumors and provide prompt treatment.

Leave a Comment