Kidney cancer (renal carcinoma) – C64, C65
Renal tumors have increased by almost fourfold in the last 25 years. However, the reason for this great escalation remains a mystery. Kidney cancer is the third most common uro-oncological disease. Up to 85% of cases are Grawitz tumors, adenocarcinomas of clear cells with rich blood supply leading to a rapid formation of metastases. But some cases are known where metastases developed even 10 years later. Adenocarcinoma frequently metastasizes to bones, lungs and the central nervous system.
Kidney cancer is twice as more common in men, it usually appears between 40 and 60 years of age. A high-risk group are patients with chronic renal failure or those on long-term medications, commonly painkillers. Working with asbestos or petroleum products also carries some risk. Even smoking (1.5-2.5 times higher risk), obesity and diet high on protein have some impact. The growing rate of kidney cancer may be associated with the quality of food and its processing. Genetics also play some part.
Signs and symptoms
Unfortunately, kidney cancer tends to be detected at its later stages when metastases are formed. At early stages it causes no problems, but the growth leads to deformation of the kidney, and blood in urine appears (haematuria) including a dull pain around kidneys. Common symptoms are a sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, anaemia and associated fatigue; the blood counts show noticeably reduced calcium levels. There is an increased risk of fractures even with a seemingly innocent movement due to bone metastases. At this stage the length of survival is usually around 1 year. Symptoms mentioned above should be taken seriously.
Preventing kidney cancer
Due to the importance of timely detection when cancer is likely to be cured, the Society of Nephrology aims at preventative screenings, although this is complicated by the absence of signs and symptoms. In early stages, assessments of urine and kidney filtration or abdominal ultrasound may be effective, especially for high-risk age above 50. Moreover, healthy diet, adequate fluid intake, smoking restrictions, a strong immune system, and the use of medications have some preventative effect.
Impact of the immune system on kidney cancer
A strong immune system has a significant anti-cancer activity. The targeted immunity boost is often overlooked as cancer prevention, even in kidney cancer. Natural food supplements enhancing the immunity have a positive effect on treatments necessary to restore the body and kidney function, which is failing as a consequence of the disease. A strong immunity can then limit the threat of metastases that may develop more than a decade later.