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Wilms' Tumor Symptoms

Symptoms of Wilms' tumor vary from child to child. Because tumors often grow large before they are discovered, the main symptom is a bloated or enlarged abdomen. A mass in the abdomen also might be noticed.

Other signs of Wilms' tumor include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Recurring fever

If your child has these symptoms, they are probably caused by something less serious than Wilms' tumor. However, it's a good idea to talk to your child's doctor, as they may signal other health problems.

Wilms' Tumor Risk Factors

Anything that increases your child's chance of getting Wilms' tumor is a risk factor. Although we don't know exactly what causes Wilms' tumors, some things may make your child more likely to develop the disease.

Risk factors include:

  • Age: Most children who develop Wilms' tumors are between 3 and 5 years old
  • Race: Wilms' tumor is more common in African American children. It is least prevalent in Asian American children
  • Gender: It is more common in females
  • Birth defect syndromes, including:
    • WAGR
    • Beckwith-Wiedemann
    • Denys-Drash
  • Other birth defects, including:
    • Aniridia (complete or partial lack of the iris [colored area] of the eyes)
    • Hemihypertrophy (an oversized arm and/or leg on one side of the body)
    • Cryptorchidism (failure of the testicles to descend into the scrotum) in boys
    • Hypospadias (defect in boys where the urinary opening is on the underside of the penis)
  • Other genetic conditions, including:
    • Perlman syndrome
    • Sotos syndrome
    • Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome
    • Bloom syndrome
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Frasier syndrome
    • Trisomy 18

Not everyone with risk factors gets Wilms' tumor. However, if your child has risk factors, you should discuss them with your doctor.

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Knowledge Center

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