Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Chat live online
Select the Live Chat button at the bottom of the page
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
Donations, website, or event-related assistance
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Wilms tumors are usually found when they start to cause symptoms such as swelling in the abdomen (belly), but by this point they have often grown quite large. They can be found earlier in some children with tests such as an ultrasound of the abdomen. (See Tests for Wilms Tumors.) But because Wilms tumors are rare, it’s not practical to use ultrasound exams to screen all children for them. (Screening is testing for a disease like cancer in people with no signs or symptoms.) There are no blood tests or other tests that are useful in screening otherwise healthy children for Wilms tumors.
For children at increased risk
On the other hand, screening is very important for children who have syndromes or birth defects known to be linked to Wilms tumors. For these children, most doctors recommend physical exams by a specialist and ultrasound exams of the kidneys on a regular basis (for example, about every 3 or 4 months at least until the age of 7) to find any kidney tumors when they are still small and have not yet spread to other organs.
Wilms tumor can also run in families, although this is rare. Talk to your doctor if you have any relatives who have had a Wilms tumor. If you do, the children in your family may need to have regular ultrasound exams of the abdomen. If a person is known to have a WT1 gene mutation, genetic testing can be done to see if they have passed the mutation on to their children. (This can be done even before birth.)