Successful removal of a kidney from a young female with Wilms' tumor!
Wilms tumor, or nephroblastoma, is type of a kidney tumor that is seen most commonly in pediatric patients between the ages 2 and 5 years). The tumor presents as a large, palpable abdominal mass that can grow and extend into the pelvis.
Tumors this size can also cause intestinal obstruction and blood in the urine (hematuria). The condition is detected by an abdominal ultrasound that shows an intrarenal mass with a CT scan for evaluation of any possible metastasis, i.e. to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the kidney to other areas.
Grossly, the tumor shows areas of hemorrhage and necrosis with variable mix of stromal and epithelial cell types on histology.
Treatment plans are pretty limited to a radical nephrectomy (removal of the cancer along with the entire kidney, ureter, adrenal gland and surrounding fatty tissue) with chemotherapeutic agents or radiation therapy in advanced stages.
In the very advanced stage V, patients have cancer involvement in both kidneys, removing both kidneys would result in kidney failure and the need for a kidney transplant. As a result, surgeons usually take out as much of the cancer as possible and preserve as much healthy kidney tissue as they can to avoid an organ transplant.