Tumours that affect the kidney are also known as renal tumours.


Children with renal tumours may develop symptoms such as:

  • A swollen tummy
  • Blood in the urine (old blood may make the urine resemble the appearance of cola)
  • Looking very pale
  • Tiredness
  • Unexplained, recurrent fevers
  • Back to back viral illnesses
  • Constipation or a change in bowel habit

About renal tumours in children

  • Around 90 children a year are diagnosed with renal tumours
  • About 90% are Wilms tumours
  • The other 10% of renal tumours are made up of a number of other tumour types including:
    • Malignant rhabdoid tumours

    • Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney

    • Renal cell carcinoma

Wilms Tumour

Wilms tumours usually affect one kidney, but occasionally they can affect both kidneys (bilateral).

Wilms usually occurs in children under the age of 5 with a peak incidence of 1-3 years of age.

​Although the causes of Wilms tumour are unknown, up to one in six children may also have another congenital disorder such as:

  • Denys–Drash syndrome

  • Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome

  • WAGR syndrome

Treatment of children with Wilms tumours usually consists of chemotherapy and surgery (removal of the affected kidney). Certain tumour types may require more aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well.

5% of Wilms’ tumours have a different appearance, an ‘anaplastic’ histology making them more challenging to treat.


​Useful information resources 

These can be found published by the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group

My Child has a kidney tumour - produced by the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group and Bethany's Wish.

My Child's Wilms' Tumour has come back: treatment for relapsed Wilms' - produced by the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group and Bethany's Wish.



Content reviewed July 2021