At Miami Cancer Institute, the comprehensive treatment of your child involves numerous specialists. You may see several pediatric physicians, oncologists, surgeons and radiation experts, as well as nurses, dietitians, therapists and social workers. We understand that this can be a confusing and stressful time for every family member, and we are here to help.
One of the most exciting advances in the fight against Wilms tumor is proton therapy. When the Proton Therapy Center opens at Miami Cancer Institute soon, it will be the only center of its kind in the region and one of only 14 in the United States. An advanced form of radiation treatment, proton therapy spares healthy tissue and eliminates many of the side effects of conventional radiation treatment (also known as photon or external beam radiation). While traditional X-rays pass through healthy tissue and organs on their way in and out of the body, protons travel through the body and release most of their energy inside a tumor. Using proton therapy reduces the risk of damage to bones and soft tissues, reduces side effects and decreases the odds of other tumors later in life, which makes it particularly good for treating childhood cancers.
Other treatments may include (alone or in combination):
- Surgery to remove all or part of the affected kidney and involved structures
- Biopsy of the tumor
- Radiation therapy
- Medications to control side effects like pain, hypertension, nausea and infections
As with any cancer, prognosis and long-term survival can vary greatly from individual to individual. Close follow-up care is essential. The healthcare team at Miami Cancer Institute will work closely with you and your family to develop the best treatment plan for your child.