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Staging is the process of finding out how far the cancer has spread. This is very important because your child's treatment and long-term outlook depend on the stage of the cancer.

In the United States, the Children’s Oncology Group staging system is used most often to describe the extent of spread of Wilms tumors. This system describes Wilms tumor stages using Roman numerals I through V (1 through 5). It takes into account findings from the physical exam, pictures from CT scans or other tests, and results of surgery (if surgery was done). In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV (4), means a more advanced cancer.

After looking at the test results, the doctor will tell you the stage of your child's cancer. Be sure to ask your doctor to explain the stage in a way you understand. This will help you both decide on the best treatment.

Last Medical Review: 08/01/2012
Last Revised: 08/01/2012