Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome Cancer
Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome is a condition wherein growth regulation disorder takes place. It affects many parts of the body. The infants affected by this overgrowth syndrome tend to grow considerably larger or taller than their peers. By the age of 8 the growth begins to slow down. In some children one side of their body grows larger than the other giving them an abnormal appearance, this is known as hemi hyperplasia, though this becomes less apparent as the child grows older.
At the time of the birth of the child the major feature of Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome Cancer is that the inside of the abdomen comes out through the naval as a result the new born baby needs to undergo a surgery before it leaves the hospital. Pregnancy complications are seen in mothers who bear children with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome They have premature babies and an excess of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac which is termed as polyhydramnios. An uncommon large placenta and long umbilical cord is present.
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is mainly diagnosed on physical signs. Children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome are born with an opening in the wall of the abdomen which allows the abdomen to come out of the belly-button, some have abnormally large tongue which creates swallowing, speaking and breathing problem for the child. These children are at a higher risk of different cancerous and non-cancerous tumours. They develop Wilmstumour, which is a form of kidney cancer and hepatoblastoma which is a form of liver cancer.
In most of the case for children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome complicated medical problems do not come up and their life span also exist same as any normal person.
Many types of tumour both cancerous and benign have been found in children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. The risk of cancer is very high in children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome especially with children having enlargement of kidneys and enlargement of organs.
Tests recommended for Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome are baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT of CAT) scan of the abdomen.Ultrasound of the abdominal for hepatoblastoma and Wilmstumour. This needs to be done every 3 months till the child is 4 years old. Blood test for Serum alpha-fetoprotein every 6 weeks or every 3 months till the chid is 4 years old and regular physical examination by the doctor.
If twins are born and one of them does not have sign of Beckwith-Wiedemannsyndrome then too the child needs to undergo all the test mentioned above.