Most Dialysis patients do not realize that Chronic Kidney Disease and cancer are closely connected because they share common risk factors such as toxin buildup in the body. Hence, while cancer can cause Chronic Kidney Disease either directly (kidney cancer) or indirectly through the adverse effects of therapies, conversely, Chronic Kidney Disease itself may be a risk factor for cancer (toxin-related), suggest researchers at the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health. In fact, an American Journal of Nephrology study reported that Dialysis patients had a 44% higher risk of any cancer as compared to the general population. What's even more startling is that 72.7% of the study participants who were Dialysis patients diagnosed with cancer, died.These findings are eye-opening and highlight an important emphasis for Chronic Kidney Disease patients to try and prevent cancer the best they can as well as recognize the early warning signs to help improve health outcomes and survival.
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Cancer symptoms vary widely, or they may not occur at all. Some patients have abnormal bumps, unexplained fevers, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, bowel changes, rectal bleeding, urinary changes, blood in the urine, persistent back pain, unusual coughing, and testicular lumps. Of course, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should always check with their Nephrologists about any concerns they are having because finding and treating cancer at an early stage can save lives. "Cancer that’s diagnosed at an early stage before it’s had the chance to get too big or spread is more likely to be treated successfully," said Cancerresearchuk.org. On the other hand, if cancer has spread then the treatment becomes more difficult and generally, a person’s chances of surviving are much lower.
Still, according to Reader's Digest, "cancers don’t develop overnight." These cancer-fighting foods and other lifestyle moves may reduce the risk of cancer in Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients:
- Strive to get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate aerobic activity to limit cancer, suggested the Mayo Clinic.
- Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney (12% higher risk in Dialysis patients), noted Mayoclinic.org.
- Try to avoid the midday sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
- When you're outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help.
- Consider talking to your doctor about getting recommended immunizations since cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections such as Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
- Limit processed meats because an International Agency for Research on Cancer report concluded that eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Cut out sugary drinks which can lead to obesity, Diabetes, and even cancer.
- Try steamed broccoli since broccoli is a cancer-preventing super-food that, in moderation, matches the Renal and Diabetic dietary restrictions.
- Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower have been known to stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer.
- Drinking tea in moderation has been linked with cutting the risk of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate and lung cancer.
- Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients who eat wild caught salmon (ask the butcher at your local grocery store or fish market) gain the benefit of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are likely responsible for cancer-fighting effects.
- Limit the red meat. Harvard researchers found that people who ate three ounces of red meat every day were about 13 percent more likely to die—often from heart disease or cancer.
- Red grapes are great sources of resveratrol, an antioxidant that may slow cancer growth in the lymph nodes, stomach, breasts, and liver.
- Cornell food science researchers found that that onions and shallots (green onions) have powerful antioxidant properties, as well as compounds that inhibit cell growth, which appears protective against a variety of cancers.
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