Diagnosing of Wilms Tumors
Wilms tumors are relatively rare, so general screening is not done in otherwise healthy children. However, if your child has signs or symptoms that indicate the possibility of a kidney tumor, our specialists at Sheba will perform a variety of tests and procedures to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of Wilms tumor. We have extensive experience and use the latest technologies to diagnose each individual child as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To diagnose Wilms tumor, we may administer the following tests:
Medical history and physical exam
We will examine your child’s body thoroughly to check overall signs of health. Our doctor will focus on checking the abdomen for any swelling. Lab tests to evaluate blood and urine are a part of this exam. We will also ask a series of questions about any signs and symptoms. A review of your child’s family history of cancer or birth defects will also be discussed.
If the doctor thinks your child may have a tumor in the belly, an ultrasound is generally the first imaging test that we will do. It provides a detailed view of the kidneys and other abdominal organs.
This quick imaging procedure uses x-rays to create a 3D image of the inside of the body. The detailed, cross-sectional views will show if there are any Wilms tumors in the kidney. A CT scan can also show if the cancer has spread.
This type of imaging uses radio waves and strong magnets to generate very detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI may also be used to look for the possible spread of cancer to the brain or spinal cord.
We may recommend this test to inspect for the spread of Wilms tumor to the lungs. However, if a CT scan of the chest is done, a chest x-ray is usually not necessary.
A biopsy is the most reliable way to confirm a Wilms tumor diagnosis and to determine if surgery is needed. A piece of the tumor will be removed and examined under a microscope. Sometimes, the biopsy is performed as part of the surgery to remove the tumor.