Wilms’ tumor (WT) accounts for about 5% of childhood malignancies and 90% of kidney cancers in children are Wilms’ tumor. The 5- year survival rate is about 93% however, this changes with the stage of the tumor. Majority of Wilms’ tumor with favorable histology has good survival rates.
Alternative Treatment For Wilms Tumor
The main treatment of Wilms’ tumor is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy but some people try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for Wilms’ tumor treatment. CAM is used for the treatment of different types of cancers around the world. CAM treatment includes biological therapies such as dietary supplements, herbal medicines, special diets, and antioxidants; other CAM methods include massage therapy, relaxation therapy, acupuncture, and spiritual healing.
Some people find these therapies useful as a cure for Wilms’ tumor and reduce some symptoms as well. However, the exact benefits of these therapies are not known completely. It is up to you to choose the treatment method but before you start on any treatment method it is important you consult a specialist in that field and learn all about the treatment method including the benefits, risks and success rates.
A case study was published in 2016 about a 17-year-old Korean girl with stage IV Wilms’ tumor treated with left radical nephrectomy and following surgery, chemotherapy was given for 5 months. However, she developed multiple metastases in the lungs, and in the right lobe of the liver. The doctors suggested chemotherapy and she has refused and started on a Korean herbal remedy which consisted of “Soram nebulizer solution, oral herbal medicine, and rectal injection” along with integrative medical therapy with hyperthermia therapy, and Thymosin-α1 (TA1). According to imaging studies done after the alternative treatment method, the lung metastasis was stable without further progression and the liver metastasis was in a remission stage.
So, there are different alternative treatment methods available for Wilms’ tumor and some of these have shown success in treating the tumor and metastatic tumors. Sometimes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and alternative therapies might be more beneficial than one treatment modality alone. (2) (3) (4)
Is Wilms Tumor A Progressive Disease?
Yes, it is a progressive disease. Initially, it only involves one kidney, it starts as a single abnormal cell and this cell multiply and grow and occupy the whole kidney. Then there isn’t any normal kidney tissue to perform the function. Then the tumor breaks the renal capsule and spread to the nearby fatty tissue, blood vessels and to the nearby lymph nodes. If Wilms’ tumor is not diagnosed and not removed then it spreads further to the abdomen and to the abdominal lymph nodes. After this, the tumor spreads to distant organs such as the lungs, brain, liver, and bone. Finally, the tumor will spread to the other kidney as well.
If the tumor is identified at the initial stages before it spreads to the abdomen the survival rates are very good (95-100%) especially, with the favorable histology type of tumor. It is important to diagnose Wilms’ tumor at initial stages so, that the tumor can be removed completely before it spreads to the abdomen. This way most children live a normal life and most children survive well with one kidney. (1) (5)
The main treatment of Wilms’ tumor is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy but complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can also be a treatment option for Wilms’ tumor. CAM treatment includes biological therapies such as dietary supplements, herbal medicines, special diets, and antioxidants; other CAM methods include massage therapy, relaxation therapy, acupuncture, and spiritual healing. There are case reports of CAM being a success in treating Wilms’ tumor, metastasis of Wilms’ tumor and it also has reduced some of the disturbing symptoms as well. Our advice is before you start on any treatment method it is best you talk about it with a specialist and discuss all details including the benefits and risks associated with the procedure. Wilms’ tumor is a progressive disease and survival rates are almost 100% if the tumor is identified at initial stages before it spreads to the abdomen.
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