Wilm's tumor refers to a very rare type of kidney cancer that is also known as nephroblastoma, a type of cancer which can impact both kidneys, though usually first developing in just one. Because Wilm's tumor so frequently impacts children, doctors tend to think that "the tumor begins to grow as a fetus develops in the womb, with some cells that are destined to form into the kidneys malfunctioning and forming a tumor" (kidshealth.org, 2013). At the same time, even though this condition is more common to children, it can still occur in adults. It generally manifests between the ages of 3 and 4 and becomes less likely to occur around the age of five.
Symptoms and Signs
It's important to acknowledge that while this condition does occur with a set group of symptoms, some children experience no symptoms whatsoever. Another important aspect to remember is that children with this condition will appear outwardly very healthy, aside from the symptoms which are often very specific to this disease. According to the MayoClinic, some of the more common symptoms include: abdominal swelling, the presence of an abdominal mass one can feel, fever, blood in the urine (2011). The presence of any of these symptoms in a consistent or worrisome manner is enough reason to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Since this really is a...
These generally include "most children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, WAGR syndrome, Denys-Drash syndrome, idiopathic hemihypertrophy, or sporadic aniridia) should be screened with ultrasound every 3 months at least until they reach age 8 years" (cancer.gov, 2013). For instance, children who have a hemihypertrophy also are at an aggravated risk for getting tumors of the liver or adrenal arena; thus ultrasounds are crucial for proper screening: an abdominal ultrasound is suggested, with a renal ultrasound after the age of four (cancer.gov, 2013).
Fundamentally, Wilm's tumor is seen as developing as a result of an alteration of genes which are generally accountable for genitourinary development (medscape, 2013). "Examples of common congenital anomalies associated with Wilm's tumor are cryptorchidism, a double collecting system, horseshoe kidney, and hypospadias. Environmental exposures, although considered, seem relatively unlikely to play a role" (medscape, 2013). The WT1 gene and other genetic loci have also been targeted as playing a strong role for the development of the condition; the other genetic loci responsible are seen as playing a role in this condition because of the fact that certain families seem more susceptible to it than others (medscape, 2013).
Diagnosis is made as a result of a range tests: an overall physical exam will need to be conducted, as will…
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