7 Early Warning Signs That Cancer Is Growing Inside Your Kidney
Your kidneys are a pair of small bean-shaped organs located in the middle of your back which also just happen to be one of the most important organs responsible for detoxing the body. The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood to form urine.
If your kidneys were not able to do their job these waste products would build up in the blood and cause damage to your body. One serious disease that can affect the kidney and its ability to function is cancer.
Kidney cancer is not one of the most talked about forms of malignancy, however, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 there will
be almost 63,000 new cases in the U.S. alone. Survival rates for kidney cancer have improved over the last two decades, but 1/5 of those diagnosed will still die from the disease.
Early detection is key to surviving cancer. Patients diagnosed with kidney cancer at the earliest stage can expect an optimistic 81% 5-year survival
rate. Once cancer has reached an advanced stage, however, the survival rate drops significantly to a dismal 8%.
Knowing the most common signs and symptoms associated with kidney cancer allows an individual to seek out medical care as early as possible.
The symptoms associated with kidney cancer can include:
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)
Unexplainable and quick weight loss
Fever, unrelated to an illness
A lump in the abdominal region
Persistent pain along the abdominal side
Back pain, unrelated to an injury
6 Tips To Prevent Kidney Cancer
We often focus on early detection when discussing cancer but the equally important and possibly more empowering conversation is around prevention. So what can you do to optimize your body’s ability to prevent kidney cancer?
The good news is… a lot!
There are many lifestyle factors, habits or exposures that contribute to the development of chronic diseases including cancer. Luckily if we are aware there are things we can do to reduce our risk of disease, we can make changes before disease develops to promote health and prevent diseases including cancer.
Below I’ve listed a few action items you can implement to dramatically reduce your likelihood of developing kidney cancer and other chronic illness.
1. Quit Smoking and Avoid Smoke Exposure
We know smoking is bad, but it also increases the risk of renal cancer. Of the 250 harmful chemicals contained in cigarette smoke, there are 69 known to cause cancer. The risk also increases with the number of cigarettes that you smoke, doubling the risk in people who smoke 20 or more cigarettes daily. The good news is your risk falls if you stop smoking and after 10 years your risk of developing kidney cancer is the same as a nonsmoker.
2. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight