Wilm’s tumor is a malignant tumor of kidneys found in children of age less than 6 years. The median age for the tumor is about three years and such small children are unable to take care of themselves hence parents have to be careful about what their children have to eat and what to avoid. Wilm’s tumor has been shown to have a good prognosis of up to 90% with good care of the child.
What To Eat When You Have Wilm’s Tumor?
First of all, give all the medications prescribed by the doctor accordingly on time without any disruption of routine and go for regular check-ups.
An adequate amount of water has to be taken in a day so as to reduce the toxicity and efficient excretion of the drugs by the kidneys.
Diet of the Wilm’s tumor child should be well-balanced due to the fact that so many cells are dying every day and they have to be recovered efficiently which is possible only when nutrients of all types are present adequately in the diet.
As your child is on anticancer medications these are very much toxic to even normal cells of the body so it is important to take care of other cells while these kill the cancer cells. Folic acid intake in the diet should be high. It helps in the formation of the nucleic acid material like DNA in the cells. Folic acid-rich foods include legumes like dried beans, chickpeas; nuts like almonds, cashew nuts; green leafy vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, ladyfinger; meat, liver, etc. Folic acid is used by normal cells to recover early from the side effects of anti-cancer medication.
Iron intake also should be increased so as to fulfill the demands of the body for the production of hemoglobin which requires iron as its constituent. Iron-rich foods include green leafy vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, ladyfinger; legumes like dried beans, chickpeas; meat, egg yolk; cereals like brown rice, whole grain; jaggery, gur, etc. It will help to increase hemoglobin concentration in the blood which will increase the oxygen delivery to the tissues and hence help its repair. (1) (2)
What To Avoid When You Have Wilm’s Tumor?
Any additional drugs are all to be avoided and only prescription drugs to be taken under professional guidance. Avoid being too much intrusive in the treatment of the child and do follow the professional guidance given by your medical practitioner.
Wilm’s tumors can sometimes present with hypertension. To avoid unnecessary hypertension salt-restricted diet has to be used. Very limited amount of salt has to be used according to the FDA requirement of salt for the child of the given age. Too much water has to be avoided so that it may not lead to water retention in the body which will, in turn, worsen hypertension.
Spicy food has to be avoided because it may lead to abdominal pain which can mask the pain occurring due to cancer. Avoid packed foods as they contain a lot of chemicals that may harm the child due to interaction with the drugs. It may also cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Fried foods are also to be avoided. Food is to be kept covered and stale food should not be used because they have a lot of microorganisms that can cause various diseases to your child. (1) (2) (3)
Your child can remain healthy only if you take care with adequate knowledge about Wilm’s tumor and the diet that your child’s body requires. Due to the anti-cancer medication, your child will have reduced immunity which is known as immunosuppression which can expose your child to various such infections which cannot cause disease in normal people but can cause disease in an immunocompromised person. Hence whatever should be given to the child must be covered and free from organisms to as much extent as possible. It will not only help to prevent such unnecessary diseases but also recover quickly.
- Paulino AC, Wen BC, Brown CK, et al. Late effects in children treated with radiation therapy for Wilms’ tumor. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Mar 15. 46(5):1239-46. [Medline].
- Egeler RM, Wolff JE, Anderson RA, Coppes MJ. Long-term complications and post-treatment follow-up of patients with Wilms’ tumor. Semin Urol Oncol. 1999 Feb. 17(1):55-61. [Medline].
- Evans AE, Norkool P, Evans I, et al. Late effects of treatment for Wilms’ tumor. A report from the National Wilms’ Tumor Study Group. Cancer. 1991 Jan 15. 67(2):331-6. [Medline].
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