Kidney Cancer


Kidney Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), or kidney cancer, is a disease in which kidney cells become malignant, grow out of control and form a tumor.

The kidneys’ main job is to filter the blood to remove excess water, salt, and waste products from the body by producing urine.

Most people with kidney cancer are older. The average age of people diagnosed with kidney cancer is 64, and it is very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

There are no recommended screening tests for kidney cancer in people who are not at increased risk. This is because no test has been shown to lower the overall risk of dying from kidney cancer.  Kidney cancers are often found by accident during imaging tests for some other illness such as gallbladder disease.

Early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might.  The American Cancer Society lists some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer:

Blood in the urine
Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
A lump on the side or lower back
Loss of appetite
Weight loss not caused by dieting
Fever that is not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

Well-established risk factors for kidney cancer include cigarette smoking, obesity, hypertension and high sodium intake. Evidence is also accumulating to implicate lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, occupational exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) used commercially as industrial degreasers, spot removers and in dry cleaning, and nitrosamines in meat products.

Nitrosamines are one of the most potent carcinogens in cigarette smoke. In fact, in the Cancer Prevention Research Journal, published online May 7, 2014, Dr. Stephen S. Hecht wrote, “Carcinogens of this strength in any other consumer product designed for human consumption would be banned immediately.”

But, what else has nitrosamines? One hot dog has as many nitrosamines as five cigarettes according to an article in the 2001 edition of the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry. These carcinogens are also found in fresh meat, including beef, chicken and pork.

Even though fresh meat contains nitrosamines, processed meat contains even more. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that you simply “avoid processed meat such as ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs and sausages.”

Results of dietary studies published in the British Journal of Cancer, (Jan 2013) state, “Our findings suggest that nitrite from animal sources may increase the risk of kidney cancer (RCC), particularly clear cell adenocarcinomas.”

Cruciferous vegetable consumption like kale, arugula and collard greens has been related with a decreased risk of RCC according to a meta-analysis published in Nutrition and Cancer (2013).

Plant-based diets decrease the risk of kidney cancer (RCC) both directly and indirectly.

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© 2010-2016 Melinda Coker

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Categories : Blog, Cancer

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