Kidney or renal cancer is identified by the presence of cancerous cells in the tubules of kidney. Cancer mostly affects people over 40 and is more prevalent in males than in females.Though the exact causes of this dreaded disease are not known, there are a number of risk factors involved. These common factors are known to trigger the cancer and make a person more susceptible to it. Let’s understand the underlying causes that are considered responsible for triggering the disease:
Prolonged Dialysis Treatment
In certain people, kidneys fail to function properly; thus the body’s waste starts accumulating in these patients. In order to aid in filtration, doctors put the patients on dialysis. The prolonged dialysis, sometimes, results in development of cysts and the increase the risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma or Kidney Cancer. These carcinomas are formed from the outermost lining of the cysts. For such cases, doctors recommend the regular ultrasounds in order to detect the cyst formation at an early stage.
Another major cause of renal carcinoma is smoking. It is one of the direct causes and is responsible for 30% of cancer cases in men. As per the researches, smoking increases the chances of a person of acquiring the cancer to twice. As much as one-fourth of the total kidney cancer cases in United States are caused due to smoking alone. The heavy smokers may develop renal sarcomas or cell carcinoma. While in renal sarcomas, connective tissues of the kidneys are affected, cell carcinoma is responsible for making the kidney tubules cancerous.
How Smoking Affects Kidneys
The cigarette smoke consists of nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and many other dangerous chemicals. Kidneys are unable to filter them properly and in turn cause severe damage to them. While filtering these harmful substances, the kidney tissues may get damages and their chances of becoming cancerous increase. The active smokers are more susceptible to the disease than the passive ones.
Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome
VHL is a genetically inherited disease that is characterized by the formation of abnormal blood vessels; it also leads to knot formation in certain body parts such as eyes and adrenal glands. These abnormal vessels are termed hemangioblastomas. Those who have abnormal VHL genes in their body tend to develop Renal Cell Carcinoma. Multiple tumors in other parts like brain, ear, spinal cord, and pancreas may also be present.
Present since the time of birth, this defect is among the risk factors of RCC. In some people, the kidneys merge to form a singular mass and this results in a horseshoe shaped structure. Those born with this defect are likely to contract transitional cell carcinoma, carcinoid tumor, sarcoma, and Wilms’ tumor.
The jobs involving exposure to harmful chemical substances like asbestos and cadmium have the tendency to develop kidney cancer. Those who are exposed to blast furnaces or a petroleum-based product called Trichloroethylene are also at the risk of developing the disease.
A person with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 is said to be obese, the overweighing is another risk factor for developing kidney cancer.As the BMI increases by a single point, the chance of contracting cancer raises by 4%. The sedentary life style of modern times has contributed a lot to this. The kidneys of an overweight person have to work a lot more than those of lean persons.
Family genes play a vital role in determining one’s health and immunity to the diseases. Those who have family history of kidney cancer have significantly higher chances of becoming susceptible to the disease and that too at a younger age. Such people usually develop tumors or cysts in either one or both of their kidneys. The chances become much higher if the immediate relatives of the persons contracted before 50.
Other Genetic Diseases
There are several other genetic disorders that can trigger kidney cancer:
The disease is caused by the mutation of either TSC1 or TSC2, both of which are responsible for controlling the abnormal cell differentiations. The mutation leads to the development of tumor formation in kidney, lungs, skin, and eyes. Those carrying the defected genes develop benign tumors called anginomyolipomas. There is 1% chance of these benign tissues changing to form renal carcinoma.
In this rare genetic disease, hair follicles of face and neck develop benign tumors. Those suffering from this disorder are likely to contract either benign or malignant kidney carcinoma. Besides, the other genetic conditions responsible for the onset of kidney cancer are papillary renal and clear cell abnormalities. These are rare disorders and are acquired from parents to the children.
The development of kidney is also associated with fat-rich and fiber-low diet. It becomes harder for the kidneys to filter fatty substances, thus causing damage to its tissues.
Those who have hepatitis C double their chances of developing kidney cancer.
The excess dosage of pain killers, especially aspirin and paracetamol is one of the other risk factors for kidney cancer. A drug called phenacetin which was earlier in use, had definite link with the disease. The higher doses of the non-steroidal drugs are known to have adverse effect on kidneys.
Persons with high blood pressure levels are more prone to the disease. Such people usually rely on heavy drugs; the researchers have yet to establish the fact weather the disease is caused by BP itself or the drugs used to counteract it.
Gender and Race Factors
The rate of kidney cancer is relatively higher in males as compare to the females. Those with the dark skin, i.e. Asians and Africans are more vulnerable to it.These are some of the factors that are directly or indirectly responsible for the onset of kidney cancer. Though we cannot control the genetic factors, other risk factors can surely be minimized, thus reducing the chance of acquiring the disease. A healthy life style can play a vital role in saving us from this life threatening disease and boost body immunity to fight against it.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.