Wilms Tumor

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for Wilms tumor, by stage and histology

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person’s prognosis (outlook). Some parents may want to know the survival statistics for children in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you would rather not read about survival rates, don’t read any further.

The 4-year survival rate refers to the percentage of children who live at least 4 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many children live much longer than 4 years (and many are cured).

To get 4-year survival rates, doctors have to look at children who were treated at least 4 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a better outlook for children now being diagnosed with Wilms tumors.

These survival rates are based on the results of the National Wilms Tumor Studies, which included most of the children treated in the United States in the last few decades. The most important factors in determining a child’s outlook are the stage and histology of the tumor. (Histology refers to how the cancer cells look under the microscope – see “What is Wilms tumor?”) Some of these rates are based on only small numbers of children, so it’s hard to know if they are accurate.

Survival rates are based on previous outcomes of children who had the disease, but they can’t predict what will happen in any particular child’s case. Knowing the stage and histology of a Wilms tumor are important in estimating the child’s outlook. But other factors can also affect a child’s outlook, such as how well the tumor responds to treatment. Even when taking other factors into account, survival rates are only rough estimates. Your child’s doctor can tell you if the numbers below apply, as he or she knows your child’s situation best.

    Wilms Tumor 4-year Survival Rates

    Tumor Stage

    Favorable Histology

    Unfavorable Histology (Anaplastic Wilms Tumor)

    I

    99%

    83%

    II

    98%

    81%

    III

    94%

    72%

    IV

    86%

    38%

    V

    87%

    55%


Last Medical Review: 03/06/2015
Last Revised: 03/19/2015