The kidneys are located just above the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. They look like beans with a size of a fist. They can filter up to half a cup of blood for every minute, that is, if they are healthy. They take charge of removing wastes to allow the body to make urine. However, when kidneys are unhealthy, they tend to become prone to diseases, one of which is kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer, otherwise known as renal cell adenocarcinoma or renal cell cancer, is a disease where the lining of tubules in the kidney are found to have cancer cells. These tiny tubules are responsible in filtering and cleaning the blood. When they are blocked, it will be hard for the kidney to do its usual functions. The good news is, the condition can be prevented before it even bothers you. Here are natural ways on how to do so.
Take Care of Your Kidneys
The first thing you should do to save yourself from possibilities of having kidney cancer is to make sure you take care of your kidneys. You can do this by simply approaching a healthcare provider in order to know how your kidney is functioning at the moment. Make sure that you also avoid prolonged use of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen. In line with this, you must also control your blood sugar, most especially if you have or are in the risk of having diabetes.
Control Blood Pressure
An increased blood pressure also puts a person at risk of having kidney cancer. If you want to make sure that you prevent this from happening, it is your responsibility to manage your blood pressure. Many studies have shown that people with high blood pressure, especially men, are at the higher risk of developing kidney cancer later on in life. Make necessary lifestyle changes so that you can control blood pressure and decrease the likelihood of having this disease.
Do Not Smoke
Make sure you stop if you do. Smoking tobacco is considered one of the risk factors to renal cell cancer. In fact, smoking tobacco increases the likelihood of kidney cancer by 25% in women and 30% in men. All in all, this can also double the risk of developing this type of cancer. If you want to prevent cancer from bugging you, make sure not to smoke.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research has shown the link between kidney cancer and obesity. Obesity is a condition where the ratio of body fat is more when compared to lean body tissue. There are certain risk factors to obesity, some of them are environmental, cultural, emotional, hormonal, and genetic in nature. Apart from increasing risk to serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes, being overweight will also increase the risk of developing cancer, including kidney cancer.
In line with this, here are things you can do in order to manage your weight:
- Make healthy food choices. Eat more whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. It will also help if you eat broth-based soups as these ones can help you feel full faster, thus preventing you from eating too much during a meal.
- Limit sugar intake. Sugar intake is not just about using table sugar to sweeten your drinks. It also means foods and beverages that have high sugar content. Limit your intake of soda and juice. Avoid chocolates, cakes, and other sweet treats too.
- Watch out your calorie intake. One of the best ways to maintain healthy weight is to make sure that you only eat and drink as many calories that you need to help you with your daily physical activities.
- Exercise. It will also help if you get involved in moderate to physical activities. Exercising is known for its health benefits, including prevention of certain types of cancers such as cervical cancer, and kidney cancer. Do so at least 30 minutes to an hour everyday if you can. If you cannot, make sure that you increase your physical activities in order to help manage your weight.
Check Your Exposure to Toxins
There are certain toxins at home or even at work that can increase your risk of having kidney cancer. These toxins include asbestos, and trichloroethylene, among others. Studies have also proven the relationship between having kidney cancer and exposure to cadmium. The same is true when you are exposed to welding materials, paints, and batteries. The risk is even higher for smokers who have been exposed to these toxins.
Be Aware of Your Family’s Medical History
You will need to trace your family’s medical history to find out who was once affected by kidney cancer. If your first-degree relatives like parents, siblings, or children suffered from kidney disease, you are in an increased risk of developing the disease as well. This risk increases even more if you have grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren who suffered or are suffering from the condition. If family members where diagnosed before reaching 50 years old, and had more than one tumor in one kidney, or have cancer affecting both kidneys, the risk increases even more.
Tracing your family’s history will help a lot in order for your health care professional to take proactive steps to prevent you from having kidney cancer and reduce the risk of developing the disease. You must be accurate in giving pieces of information regarding these.
Know about Genetic Conditions that May Put You at Risk
Aside from kidney cancer affecting one or more members of your family, you must also be aware of certain genetic conditions that can increase your risk of developing this disease. People with VHL or Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, heridatry non-VHL clear cell renal cell carcinoma, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome are prone to developing kidney cancer too.
Remember to always make necessary lifestyle changes, maintain an ideal weight, eat healthy, prevent yourself from being affected by certain conditions, and watch out for diseases that can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer. When you do, you will be able to reduce your risk and prevent yourself from being affected by the problem, without taking any medications whatsoever.