Other Solid Tumors
Our pediatric cancer experts treat many types of childhood tumors, including solid tumors that affect internal organs and soft tissues. A cancer diagnosis is understandably scary news, but we are here to help you and your child through treatment.
Why Choose Mary Bridge for Solid Tumor Treatment?
Parents and families across the region come to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center because we provide:
- Personalized treatment: Our pediatric cancer specialists will customize treatment based on your child’s unique needs. Compared to other hospitals where children receive treatment from a variety of physicians in training, here your child will see the same board-certified specialist throughout treatment.
- Clinical trials: We offer access to promising new therapies only available through clinical trials and standardized cancer care procedures used at other leading children’s cancer centers.
- Convenient care: Having advanced care close to home means your child can more easily get back to everyday life, with less disruption to normal routines.
We also partner with Seattle Children’s Hospital for children needing bone marrow, or stem cell transplant. This procedure replaces diseased blood-forming cells with healthy cells. Our partnership with Seattle Children’s allows you to stay closer to home for other treatments.
Comprehensive solid tumor treatment support
We also offer comprehensive support for childhood cancer treatment, using a team-based approach that ensures a better outcome for your child. We provide a full range of services to support your child’s treatment and recovery, including:
- Child life specialists to explain procedures in developmentally appropriate language
- Sedation services team to provide anesthesia and keep your child comfortable
- Pediatric rehabilitation specialists to help your child return to normal activities after surgery
- Dietitians to ensure your child has the right nutrition to support a full recovery
- Personal health partners (PHPs) that include a nurse and social worker to help you navigate your child’s treatment
- Personalized follow-up care with detailed imaging schedules to monitor your child’s recovery
Find out more about our child and family support services.
Solid Tumors We Treat
Learn more about the solid tumors we treat, including:
Pediatric cancer specialists at Mary Bridge have expertise treating Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma), the most common type of kidney cancer in children. The kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that sit on either side of the spine near the lower back. They are an essential part of the filtration system that removes waste from the body, producing urine that flows to the bladder.
Wilms tumor can be difficult to detect because children may still look and act healthy. The first sign parents may notice is often swelling or a hard mass in their child’s belly. Other symptoms can include:
- Appetite loss
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in the child’s urine
Treatment for Wilms tumor involves surgery to remove the affected kidney. Your child may also need chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells, while radiation therapy uses high-energy beams targeted at tumors to shrink or destroy them.
Our pediatric specialists are experienced in treating both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) liver tumors in children. The liver is an essential organ that filters toxins and waste from the blood, produces digestive fluid and breaks down nutrients.
The most common form of liver cancer in children is hepatoblastoma, which doctors typically treat with some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Each child is different, but symptoms of liver tumors can include:
- Swelling or large mass in the abdomen or belly
- Pain on the right side of the abdomen, in some cases extending to the back
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Itchy skin
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that starts in early forms of nerve cells, occurring primarily in infants and young children. This type of cancer is rare.
This type of cancer can cause tumors in the spine, abdomen or chest, also frequently occurring on the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys.
Symptoms of neuroblastoma can vary widely depending on where the tumor is in the body. The most common symptoms of neuroblastoma include:
- Large lump or swelling in the abdomen, chest or neck
- Abdominal or bone pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, arm or groin
Depending on how advanced your child’s neuroblastoma is, our specialists may recommend a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Sarcomas are a type of cancer that develop from tissues such as muscle, fat, joints, blood vessels and bones. In addition to treating sarcomas of the bone, our team also treats soft tissue sarcomas such as rhabdomyosarcoma.
Rhabdomyosarcoma can cause tumors almost anywhere in the body, so symptoms can be very different among children. The first sign is often a lump or swelling, which depending on the location can affect:
- Vision: Tumors near the eye can impact vision, cause bulging of the eye or making your child appear cross-eyed.
- Sinuses: Tumors in the ear or nasal cavities can lead to headaches or sinus congestion.
- Urinary tract: Tumors in the bladder or genital area can make using the bathroom painful and cause bleeding.
- Abdomen: Abdominal tumors may lead to vomiting, constipation or belly pain.
For soft tissue sarcomas, your child’s team of physicians may recommend a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Diagnosing Solid Tumors in Children
Our specialists use a variety of techniques to diagnose solid tumors in children. Throughout the process, our child life specialists and sedation team are available to keep your child as comfortable as possible.
To make a diagnosis, your child’s doctor may recommend tests such as:
- Blood test: Doctors use different types of blood tests to evaluate organ function. Blood markers like elevated levels of infection-fighting white blood cell counts may also indicate cancer.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is a tissue sample used to diagnose the type of tumor present. Our specialists use minimally invasive biopsy procedures whenever possible to avoid open surgery.
- X-ray: An X-ray uses high-energy radiation beams to take pictures of the body’s internal structures.
- CT (computerized tomography) scan: This procedure uses X-rays and computers to create detailed cross-section or slice images of internal structures. The procedure requires your child to lie on a table that slides through a large donut-shaped machine.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): An MRI uses radio waves and powerful magnets to create detailed images of your child’s internal organs. During the MRI, your child will need to lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped machine.
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan: A PET scan is a test used to detect tumors in bones and other tissues. Specialists inject a substance containing low levels of radiation. The cancer cells absorb the substance so they show up on images. Your child must lie on a small table in the PET scanner while radiologists take images.
- Ultrasound: This noninvasive technique uses sound waves and a computer to create images of internal organs and other structures.
Learn more about diagnosis and imaging at Mary Bridge.