Kidney Cancer: The kidneys are organs located behind the stomach, with one kidney on each side of the spine.
They are about the size of a person’s fist and are bean-shaped. Their primary job is to help the body flush waste and extra fluid from the body. They also help maintain a healthy balance of salt, water, and minerals in the blood. There has been an increase in this type of cancer in recent years, but it’s not all bad news. One of the reasons there has been an increase in kidney cancer has to do with more advanced screening devices that catch it earlier. Kidney cancer that is caught early and contained in one kidney can be easily treated by removing the kidney. Most people can function with just one kidney.
If cancer is a concern in your family and you or your parent are concerned about kidney cancer either because of family history or your parent having certain risk factors, it helps to be aware of the symptoms.
You should then seek immediate treatment and diagnosis. If you’re not aware of what increases the risk of kidney cancer, here are the most common factors that can increase your parent’s risk of developing this cancer.
-Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma. The increased risk seems to be related to how much you smoke. In fact, smoking is linked to about 30% of kidney cancer cases. If your parent is a smoker, the sooner you can help him quit smoking, the sooner he will reduce his risk of many cancers.
-Gender, Age and Race. Your parent has no control over these risk factors, but it’s important to know that black men between the ages of 50-70 are in one of the highest risk groups.
-High Blood Pressure. If your parent has high blood pressure that isn’t managed properly, he may be at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer. Look for both medical and holistic ways to help him reduce his blood pressure such as reducing stress levels. Hiring an elder care provider to help with home chores might be one way to reduce his stress levels and his blood pressure.
-Obesity. Being overweight can increase the risk of this cancer. Fat cells can affect the way your parent’s body regulates cancer cell growth. If obesity is an issue, work with your parent’s primary physician to find ways to help him lose weight by changing eating habits or increasing activity. Even a simple walk with his elder care provider once a day can help him get on a healthier path.
Kidney cancer doesn’t usually present any early symptoms in its development, so if your parent has any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with his physician right away to get him evaluated.
-Pain in his back or side that doesn’t go away. Especially if accompanied by a lump.
-Blood in his urine. It can be red, pink, or even a brownish color.
-Unexpected and unexplained weight loss.
-Loss of appetite.
-Swollen ankles or legs.
-In men, a sudden development of a cluster of enlarged veins around a testicle, particularly his right testicle, may indicate that a large kidney tumor may be present.
-A recurring fever not related to a cold or other illness.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Southbury, CT, please contact the caring staff at Elderly Caregivers, LLC today. (203) 628-7438