Kidney cancer occurs when the cells in your kidneys are altered. There is no clear reason why this happens, but doctors are aware of many risk factors that can increase the chances that you'll get the disease. Education is your best defense, so knowing what causes kidney cancer can help you prevent it.
Kidney Cancer is Caused by Genetics
One of the biggest risk factors when it comes to cancer in your kidneys is genetics. Certain inherited DNA changes contribute to the development of the disease. That means that if you have a family member with cancer, you are more likely to also suffer from it. If you have this type of cancer in your family history, it pays to let your doctor know so that he can keep his eye out for symptoms that could indicate you have it, too.
Smoking Cigarettes is a Contributor
Smoking increases the risk of the cellular changes that cause cancer in your kidneys. The risk goes up the more you smoke. Experts say that once you quit, your risk starts to go down, but it takes years to return to the same risk as a non-smoker. It is best to quit smoking cigarettes right now. If you are having trouble doing so, talk to your physician about patches, gum or prescription medications that can help.
Obesity Could be a Cause
Experts believe that obesity leads to hormonal changes that increase the risk of kidney cancer. If you are obese, you can cut your risk by losing weight in a safe and healthy way. You should never attempt to do this without the assistance of your doctor. You will need to create a low-calorie meal plan and combine it with a good amount of exercise to drop the weight. As you get thinner, your risk of cancer in the kidneys will drop as your hormone levels regulate.
High Blood Pressure is Dangerous
High blood pressure can cause all sorts of health problems, and cancer in your kidneys is one of them. Researchers think that the risk is due to the medications used to treat high blood pressure, such as pain relievers and diuretics. The science is definitive, but if you are taking any kind of medication for high blood pressure, it makes sense to talk over your risk with your doctor to determine if you could try another form of treatment to lower your blood pressure.
Kidney Disease is a Risk Factor
If you have kidney disease, especially if you require dialysis, your risk of cancer in the kidneys may go up. If this is true for you, make sure you keep your regular appointments and talk over any concerns you have with your doctor. An early diagnosis means a better prognosis, so stay on top of things at all times.