5 Lifestyle Mistakes That Are Damaging Your Kidneys, Can Cause Cancer

The causes of kidney cancer are not known, but factors that put some people at higher risk include a few lifestyle issues like a diet high in processed foods, eating too much salt, taking too many painkillers and not drinking enough water. Read on to know more.
Lifestyle factors causing kidney cancer

Doctors say even though the exact causes of kidney cancer are not known, there are a few factors – mostly lifestyle-related, which can lead to an increase in your risk of developing it

Renal cell carcinoma or kidney cancer is among the deadliest conditions, affecting millions across the world. According to statistics, kidney cancer is the 14th most common cancer worldwide and has a rising incidence, with an estimated 4,03,000 new cases diagnosed annually. It develops when cells in your kidneys change and grow out of control. People with kidney cancer may notice flank pain, high blood pressure, blood in their pee, and other symptoms. According to experts, as with all cancers, early detection is key for successful treatment.
Doctors say even though the exact causes of kidney cancer are not known, there are a few factors – mostly lifestyle-related, which can lead to an increase in your risk of developing it. A few of these include:

Eating processed, junk foods

According to experts, fast, junk, and processed foods are super delicious, but at the same time are loaded with extremely high sources of sodium and phosphorus. Most of those who have kidney disease need to limit phosphorus in their diets. A 2018 prospective study found a 10 per cent increase in kidney cancer risk for people who eat ultra-processed foods. Mortality risk has been associated with lower levels of diet quality. Doctors say red and processed meats have corresponded with lower dietary quality.

Taking too many painkillers

Many people get addicted to taking over-the-counter painkillers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics to alleviate their pains and aches. However, according to experts, these medicines come with drastic side effects, that may put immense pressure on your kidneys and even lead to renal cancer.

Eating too much salt

Doctors say a diet high in salt alters the sodium balance in your body, leading to your kidneys having reduced function and removing less water resulting in higher blood pressure. This puts strain on the kidneys and can lead to kidney disease or even cancer.

Not drinking enough water

Drinking water regularly can help your kidneys keep hydrated and clear sodium and toxins from your body. However, dehydration can increase the risk of kidney damage and certain kidney diseases.
According to experts, when you do not drink enough water, your body has a harder time removing waste from your blood and delivering nutrients to the kidneys. Dehydration also leads to the production of urine that's more concentrated with minerals and waste products, which can form crystals that affect kidney function and contribute to kidney stones.

Drinking too much alcohol

According to studies, drinking alcohol can heighten your risk of developing kidney cancer. Experts say those who have more than two drinks a day have double the risk of chronic kidney disease as well.
The function of the kidneys in the body is to filter harmful substances like alcohol out of the body. While alcohol is mainly metabolized by the liver, some of these substances are released through the kidneys. So, if you drink alcohol, especially often, the kidneys must work harder to return your blood to its usual state.

Signs and symptoms of renal cancer

Experts say even though kidney cancer may not produce any noticeable symptoms in its early stages but as the tumour grows in size, signs do begin to appear. A few of these symptoms include:
  • Blood in your pee or hematuria
  • A lump or mass in your kidney
  • Flank pain
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • A general sense of not feeling well
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Bone pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • High calcium
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