One of the most important organs for detoxification of your body are the kidneys that are responsible for removing waste and extra water from the blood to form urine. If the kidneys are damaged, they won’t do their job properly and this will lead to building up waste products in your blood. Like any other important organ, kidneys aren’t immune to cancer.
Even though kidney cancer is not a “hot topic” when talking about malignancies, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 there will be almost 63,000 new cases in the U.S. alone. The survival rates have improved over the last 20 years, but up to 1/5 of those diagnosed won’t survive the disease.
Like most cancer cases, early detection is one of the key factors for a successful treatment. Patients diagnosed with kidney cancer at the earliest stage can expect an optimistic 81% 5-year survival rate. But in an advanced stage, the survival rate drops to 8%.
Recognizing the symptoms helps early detection, so here are the basic ones:
- Persistent pain along the abdominal side
- Back pain, unrelated to an injury
- Unexplainable and quick weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Blood in urine (early on you may not see blood, but you can screen for microscopic blood through a urinalysis at your doctor’s office)
- Fever, unrelated to an illness
- A lump in the abdominal region
Another important thing when it comes to cancer is prevention and knowing what you can do to optimize your body’s ability to prevent kidney cancer.
There are many factors that can contribute to prevention including lifestyle factors, habits or exposures that can lead to the development of chronic diseases including cancer. Luckily, you have control over these factors. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from this type of cancer and other chronic illnesses.
The fact that smoking can cause cancer is known to everyone. Out of 250 harmful chemicals contained in cigarette smoke, there are 69 known to cause cancer. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke. The risk is double for people who smoke 20 or more cigarettes daily. Luckily, the risk drops if you stop smoking and after 10 years your risk of developing kidney cancer is the same as a nonsmoker.
Other important factor is your body weight. Approximately 40% f the people with kidney cancer are obese. According to a cancer research, being overweight or obese causes around a quarter of kidney cancers. You can calculate your body mass index (BMI) by comparing your height and weight. Keep your BMI less than 30 to lower your risk of cancer and many other chronic diseases.
There are many chemicals that can increase the risk of kidney cancer including cadmium (found in cigarette smoke, fossil fuel burning, smelting); herbicides (Round-up); and organic solvents like trichloroethylene (refrigerants, rug cleaners). Try your best to keep away from these types of chemicals. Choosing organic substitutes can help you.
Many studies link kidney cancer to high blood pressure and the medications that are being prescribed to maintain it, like diuretics. There are other natural alternatives that will llower your high BP like healthy diets and proper exercises. If you really need medications, consult your doctor about your medication options, but generally it is advisable to continue your medications if needed.
Leading sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk of kidney cancer, hypertension, and being obese (which additionally contributes to a high risk of kidney cancer). 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week can do significant positive changes. Examples of aerobic activity include walking, biking, swimming, hiking, dancing, etc.
It is well known that the antioxidants found it fruits and vegetables can protect you from developing cancer. You should consume a minimum of 5 bright colored fruits and vegetables each day and opt for organic when possible. And remember, go organic.
If we can’t change our genes, we can change our surroundings and outside factors. You can get rid of things that pose a risk to the body, so why not start today?