What Risk Factors Are Associated with Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is a serious and potentially deadly disease that affects the kidneys’ function to flush out harmful substances from the bloodstream.  The incidence rate has been on an increase but knowing the risk factors associated with the condition can lower the risk of developing cancer as well as contribute to an early diagnosis and treatment.

The Role of the Kidneys

The kidneys are two fist-sized organs in the shape of beans located behind the abdomen. While the kidneys are not substantial in size, their responsibility in the body is of great importance as they eliminate waste from the body. While there are some less common forms of kidney cancer, the most common type among adults is renal cell carcinoma.

Understanding Kidney Cancer Risk Factors

Kidney cancer is associated with numerous risk factors that can increase the likelihood of one developing cancerous cells in their kidneys. Some of these factors are:

  • Getting older increases the risk of developing the disease.
  • Smoking is linked with a greater risk.
  • Obesity and high blood pressure put one at an increased risk.
  • A family history of kidney cancer increases your risk.
  • Long-term dialysis treatment for kidney failure can increase your risk as well.

It is important for the elderly and those who are at risk to maintain ideal overall health and to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms such as dark urine, back pain, fatigue, and fever. Early diagnosis is vital to effective treatment when it comes to kidney cancer.

Lifestyle modifications are also imperative such as giving up smoking if you are a smoker. Since being overweight and having high blood pressure can also contribute to your risk, it is also important to exercise regularly and adopt healthy dietary habits to maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure under control.

If you believe you are at a risk of kidney cancer or have symptoms, it is important to take action and consult a doctor as soon as possible for an early diagnosis as it can make your treatment much easier.

Featured Image: Thinkstock/© yezry

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