Survival statistics for Wilms tumour

Survival statistics for Wilms tumour are general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. These statistics are based on the experiences of groups of children and cannot be used to predict a particular child’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your child’s doctor can explain the statistics for Wilms tumour and what they mean for your child.

Overall survival

Overall survival is the percentage of children with a certain type of cancer who are expected to be alive at a specified period of time after their diagnosis. Doctors often use the overall survival rate when they talk about a prognosis.

The 5-year overall survival for Wilms tumour in children 0 to 14 years old is about 96%. This means that, on average, about 96% of children diagnosed with Wilms tumour are expected to be alive at least 5 years after their diagnosis. Most relapses for Wilms tumour occur within the first 2 years of finishing treatment. This means that if the child reaches more than 5 years from their diagnosis without a relapse, they are unlikely to relapse from their original tumour.

Survival by stage and type of Wilms tumour

Survival varies with each stage and type of Wilms tumour.

Generally:

  • the lower the stage of Wilms tumour at diagnosis, the better the outcome
  • Wilms tumour with favourable histology has a better outcome than those with anaplastic (unfavourable) histology
  • children under 2 at diagnosis have a better outcome than older children

The majority of Canadian children are treated using protocols that are the same as those used in the United States and parts of Australia and New Zealand. The outcomes for all of these children are reported together. Children in Canada are very likely to have the same outcome as children in these other countries.

Wilms tumour survival by stage for favourable histology

Stage

4-year overall survival

1

98% to 99%

2

96% to 98%

3

94% to 95%

4

86% to 90%

5

87%

Wilms tumour survival by stage for anaplastic histology

Stage

4-year overall survival

1

83%

2

81% to 83%

3

65% to 72%

4

33% to 38%

5

55%

Questions about survival

Talk to your child’s doctor about their prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • yourchild’s health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. About Wilms Tumour. 2016.
  • American Cancer Society. Treating Wilms Tumour. 2016.
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Wilms Tumor - Childhood. 2016.
  • Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 . Toronto, ON : Canadian Cancer Society; 2019: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/canadian-cancer-statistics/past-editions-canadian-cancer-statistics/.
  • Ellison, L.F., Pogany, L., and Mery L.S . Childhood and adolescent cancer survival: A period analysis of data from the Canadian Cancer Registry. European Journal of Cancer. Elsevier Science; 2007.
  • Hendershot E . Renal tumours. Tomlinson, D. & Kline, N. E. Pediatric Oncology Nursing: Advanced Clinical Handbook. Germany: Springer; 2005: 2.7: 57-61.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support. Wilms Tumour in Children. 2016.
  • National Cancer Institute. Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment (PDQ®) Patient Version. 2017.
  • National Cancer Institute. Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2017.
  • Paulino, Arnold C. Medscape Reference: Wilms Tumor Treatment and Management. 2016: http://emedicine.medscape.com/.