What are kidney tumors?

The kidneys are a pair of organs located near the bottom of the rib cage. Kidneys filter blood, removing waste and making urine. The urine passes through a long tube called the ureter and collects in the bladder.

Kidney tumors form when cells in the kidneys grow out of control. Doctors don’t know what causes this.

Kidney Tumors in Children

There are 60 million children younger than age 15 in the United States; about 550 are diagnosed with a kidney tumor each year.

Wilms Tumors - Wilms tumor is the most common type of kidney tumor in children. It can run in families. Doctors most often find this tumor in children who are around 3 years old. Wilms tumor is rare after age 6.

The next most common kidney tumors in children are:

  • Renal cell carcinoma (most common in 15- to 19-year-olds)
  • Clear cell carcinoma (most common in children under age 4)
  • Rhabdoid tumor (most common in infants)

Kidney Tumors at Seattle Children’s

Our doctors have treated hundreds of children with kidney tumors. Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is regularly ranked among the nation’s best childhood cancer centers.

Kidney Cancer Survival Rates

Doctors use five-year survival rates as one way to measure treatment success. The five-year survival rate shows how many patients with the disease are alive five years after they were diagnosed. Outcomes for Wilms tumor treated at Seattle Children’s are significantly better than the national average. About 90% of children with the most common form of Wilms tumor are free of cancer five years after treatment.

Read more about cancer programs and services and cancer research at Seattle Children’s.

Contact Us

To learn more about kidney tumor diagnosis and treatment at Seattle Children’s, call our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at 206-987-2106.