Kidney Cancer

Cancer is one of the most devastating chronic diseases in our world today. Cancer of any form can be deadly, and often is not detected early enough for effective treatment. It can invade any organ, any part of the body, at any time, without warning or cause. The most common type of cancer that affects your kidneys is called Renal Cell Carcinoma. The term “renal” refers to kidneys, and “Carcinoma” is another term for cancer. In order to help prevent this cancer, it is important to learn the characteristics of kidney cancer, risk factors for developing it, and lifestyle choices that can be made to modify these risk factors.

“Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that eventually become large enough to make a tumor. Cancer cells have mutations that allow them to divide out of control; the body is often unable to stop this process. The tumor cells become resistant to the natural cycle of growth and cell death, and they secrete proteins that allow the cells to invade other areas of the body. Kidney cancer begins in the kidneys, which are organs that lie in the back of the abdomen, behind the bowels. The kidneys are the main filters of the body.

They filter out waste products and carcinogens, transferring them from the blood stream into the urine. ” (Campbell, Rini, Izzo, Lane, 2) Kidney cancer is not one of the most common types of cancer you probably hear about on a regular basis, but it is far from being considered a rare type. “Kidney cancer is diagnosed in more than 51,000 patients each year in the United States, and each year about 13,000 patients will die of this cancer. ” (Campbell, Rini, Izzo, Lane, 9) Kidney cancer can be inherited like other cancers, but can also be sporadic as well.

According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer include older age, being male, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, chemicals in your workplace or environment, and existing medical conditions such as treatment for kidney failure and Von Hippel-Lindau disease. Smokers have a higher risk of developing several different cancers, kidney cancer is just one of them; and high blood pressure and obese people have a higher risk of kidney cancer as well.

If your work environment exposes you to certain chemicals or toxins like asbestos or cadmium, you may have an increased risk of kidney cancer. Just because kidney cancer is hereditary does not mean that you are going to develop it. Taking steps to improve your health may help reduce your risk of kidney cancer. You can make several different lifestyle choices to help prevent kidney cancer and other types of cancer as well. According to the University of Phoenix Life Resource Center, “Your risk of kidney cancer (and several other cancers) may go down significantly if you eat 3 or more servings of fruit a day.

” A variety of fruits and vegetables helps ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Replacing some of your snacks and side dishes with fruits and vegetables may help you lose weight; try to eat as many as 5 servings a day. If you smoke, you should quit. Many options for quitting exist, including support programs, medications and nicotine replacement products. Work to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you consume each day and try to exercise most days of the week.

If your blood pressure is high, you may need medication and a diet plan modified by your doctor. Lifestyle measures such as exercise, weight loss and diet changes can help. And lastly, reduce or avoid exposure to environmental toxins. “If you work with toxic chemicals, take special precautions such as wearing a mask and heavy gloves. In the United States, your employer is required to tell you what chemicals you may be exposed to on the job. Follow your employer’s safety procedures, and ask your doctor if there are other ways to protect yourself from chemical exposure.

” (The Mayo Clinic Staff). There is still no official “cure” for the many forms of cancer, but with lifestyle modifications and preventative measures, cancer can often be prevented before it develops. The technology in chemotherapy, radiation, and other cell research is still optimistic for cancer patients with early detection. If you feel that something is wrong with your body, don’t be afraid to see your doctor for a check-up. The longer you wait, the more serious an issue could be, and early detection is key when cancer could be involved.

References Campbell, Steven MD, Rhini, Brian MD, Izzo, Robert MD, & Lane, Brian MD (2009) 100 Questions and Answers about Kidney Cancer. (pp. 2-9). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Mayo Clinic Staff, Kidney Cancer http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/kidneycancer/DS00360. University of Phoenix. (n. d. ). Life resource center. Retrieved from http://www. powerflexweb. com/module. php? idDivision=04&nameDivision=Thriving&idElement=&nameElement=&idModule=m023&nameModule=Health%20Tools&idDivision=04.

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