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Kidney Cancer Prevention

While there can be unpreventable genetic and hereditary components related to the development of kidney cancer in some individuals, there are also important lifestyle factors that increase an individual's risk of developing the disease.  In some cases this increased risk can be as much as 50% higher.  Knowing ways to avoid risk by making healthier lifestyle choices is an important factor in preventing the development of kidney cancer.

Smoking Cessation: Because smoking is a significant lifestyle risk indicator for renal cell carcinoma and transitional cell carcinoma, quitting (or never starting to begin with) is an important way to reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer.  The National Cancer Institute has developed a program to help people quit smoking, including a toll-free number answered by a smoking cessation counselor who can help people get the help they need.  For more information and the phone number, visit the NCI website here: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/smoking

Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight: Those who are severely overweight or obese face a much higher risk of developing renal cell carcinoma than those who maintain a normal body weight.  Proper diet, nutrition and exercise can play a significant role in helping people lose excess body weight, thereby also reducing their risk of developing kidney cancer.  Many tools are currently available to aid in this effort.  Reliable help and strategies for combating obesity can help found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website here: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/

Maintaining Normal Blood Pressure: The risk of kidney cancer is higher in people who have high blood pressure.  While it is unclear whether it is the high blood pressure it or the medications used to treat it that play a part in kidney cancer development, maintaining normal blood pressure is an important way to reduce risk.  Information presented by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (a department of the National Institutes of Health) provides a comprehensive guide to lowering high blood pressure on its website here: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/

Limiting Exposure to Harmful Environmental Chemicals: Frequent and high-level exposure to chemicals like asbestos, cadmium and certain herbicides/organic solvents has been associated with an increased risk of developing kidney cancer.  Most often, exposure to these substances is work-related.  If you or someone you know may be exposed to these chemicals, knowing proper procedures for safely handling them is essential.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a subsidiary of the U.S.  Department of Labor and is the federal agency responsible for safety regulations regarding chemicals including asbestos.  Helpful information about safe handling and reduced exposure risk to asbestos and other chemicals can be found here: http://www.osha.gov/workers.html

Helpful Resources

National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health — Kidney Cancer Home Page: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/kidney

da Vinci Surgery — Information about Kidney Cancer http://www.davincisurgery.com/urology/conditions/kidney-cancer/

AUA Foundation: The Official Foundation of the American Urological Association — Kidney Cancer Facts: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=24

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