The Dangerous Link between Obesity and Kidney Cancer
Obesity, cancer, death . . . it seems you hear these terms linked more and more these days. Luckily there is something you can do about at least two of those terms. New research is showing an increasing link between kidney cancer and obesity. And there’s no better time to take a look at this threat than now, as March is National Kidney Month.
Obesity is linked to many health related illnesses and death. In a new study, it is linked to kidney cancer that is referred to as “common” or “virulent.”
Researchers looked at over 1,600 patients at the average age of 62 who had tumors. In those patients, 48% were obese and more likely to develop renal cell cancer or RCC. Compared to patients with a body mass index (BMI) less than 30 (which is considered the “tipping point” for obesity) the 48% had a 4% increase of developing kidney cancer. Every point higher than 30 on the BMI chart, the chances increased even more.
The particulars used in the research were health and lifestyle factors such as smoking, diabetes, and hypertension. These factors were determined to be independent of the kidney cancer results and generally only in male patients. Also concluded by the study was that BMI was an independent factor for clear-cell RCC, yet with increased BMI levels the chances of cancer were increased.
What Do Your Kidneys Really Do?
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs the size of a fist that are attached in the upper wall of the abdominal cavity on the back. Each side of the body has one kidney that is protected by the ribs.
The kidneys filter blood and remove salt, body wastes, and excess water naturally. The water is processed as urine that proceeds through to the bladder. The kidneys help to create and maintain red blood cells by producing a hormone called erythropoietin. This hormone communicates to the body’s bone marrow the need to produce more red cells.
Although the body naturally has two kidneys, a person can function with only one kidney. When a person fails to have functioning kidneys, a process called dialysis is used to filter the blood for the body.
Kidney cancer begins in the kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma or RCC is also known as renal cell cancer and it is the most common form of kidney cancers. In fact, it is the largest type of cancer, rating 9 out of 10. RCC generally grows in a single mass then may form tumors. The cancer is usually detected only after a large mass is formed and noticed through CT scans. The cancer can metastasize to other internal organs making it harder to treat.
What Can You Do?
Due to the recent study showing, obese individuals have higher risks of getting kidney cancer, the medical community has taken steps to monitor obese patients for the potential deadly disease. Cancer awareness has stepped up to educating obese people of the risks for their health that now include kidney cancer.
People with BMI 30 or more are encouraged to lose weight and watch for the symptoms of possible kidney cancer to avoid the lethal and hazardous health issue that is magnified by their weight. The constant monitoring of all patients is quickly becoming a standard procedure of many physicians.
The report is still being scrutinized causing further research and studies to calculate the risks for obese individuals and the links of kidney cancer. Although the study did show a connection, some physicians still question the authenticity of proclaimed results.