Kidney Cancer is one of the top ten most common cancers in men and women in the United States. While it is more prevalent in men, is has been increasing in women over the past decades. There are well known risks factors for people who develop this disease. Here are some things you can do to prevent and diagnose early.
Kidney Cancer: Prevent & Diagnose Early
Smoking tobacco doubles the risk of developing kidney cancer, and is believed to be the cause of more than 30% of new cancers diagnosed each year.
Kidney cancer is most commonly diagnosed in adults 50-70 years old
There has been a link between Kidney Cancer and being overweight
Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with kidney cancer
African Americans have been found to have higher rates of kidney cancer
High Blood Pressure:
Hypertension has been linked to kidney cancer
Chronic Kidney Disease:
Adults with kidney disease are more likely to have kidney cancer. This risk increases with patients who require long term dialysis
If you have a first degree relative with kidney cancer (grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, cousins) who developed the disease before age 50 you are at increased risk.
Medicines such as Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen when used in excess amounts over years are associated with to the development of kidney cancer.
What are the functions of your Kidneys?
Your kidneys are a pair of organs found in your back, just above your pelvis. In an adult, each kidney is approximately the size of a fist. Your kidneys filter your blood to remove waste and excess water to create urine. They also make hormones that control blood pressure, tell our body to make more red blood cells.
Kidney Cancer Prevention
The best way to prevent kidney cancer is to control the main factors linked to the disease. These include:
- Quit smoking
- Lowering Blood pressure
- Maintaining healthy weight
- Avoid excessive amounts of pain and inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen)
Kidney Cancer Diagnose Early & Screening
Currently, there is not a special blood test or physical exam to diagnose kidney cancer. The most common way kidney cancer is now diagnosed is by imaging studies (usually Computed Tomography scans or Ultrasounds) which are performed for other reasons.
Unfortunately, studies have not shown a benefit to perform these imaging studies as a screening test. In the past, kidney cancer was found by the association of three things:
- blood in the urine
- flank pain
- palpable mass in the back
The most common finding leading to kidney cancer diagnosis is blood in the urine, or hematuria. There are two types of hematuria.
- Gross hematuria, is when you can visually see blood, or blood clots in your urine.
- Microscopic hematuria, is when testing of your urine demonstrates the presence of blood, but you cannot visual see it when you void.
If you see blood in your urine, or if your doctor tells your there is blood in your urine on a routine physical exam, you should having studies to look at your kidneys.
Most Common Cancer - Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer remains one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoid smoking, and controlling your blood pressure are ways to minimize your risk.
You should see your primary doctor annually for checkups and physical exam. If you see blood in your urine, or are told there is blood in your urine when it is tested, you should be seen by a board certified Urologist. If you are experiencing weight loss, or new flank pain, these could also be the first signs of kidney cancer. A board certified Urologist will be able to order proper testing to screen for Kidney Cancer.
Adult & Pediatric Urology in Omaha & Council Bluffs
- Have you seen your doctor lately?
- You ever seen blood in your urine?
Contact Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology today to make your appointment. For more questions and answers in regards to Kidney Cancer, click here.