Kidney cancer is the seventh most common form of cancer in the world with a 5-year survival rate of around 73 percent. Unfortunately, even if the cancer happens to go into remission, many patients are left with lingering side effects such as a compromised immune system. Here is a closer look at four steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this pervasive form of cancer.
1. Stay at a Healthy Weight
Studies are now showing us that obesity plays a role in nearly 25 percent of all kidney cancer cases. While extra body fat might not directly cause this type of cancer, everyone should attempt to stay at a healthy BMI. Most specialists agree that the average adult should keep their body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9.
Patients with a BMI between 25 and 30 are classified as overweight and have a higher risk of developing cancer. Obese patients with a BMI above 30 have a very good chance of developing some form of cancer if they do not immediately make lifestyle changes.
2. Expand Your Diet
Few things impact your health as much as your diet, and that is why you should focus on eating as much fresh produce as possible. Sticking to a plant-based diet is one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health while reducing your risk of cancer. For those who have a high risk of developing cancer, colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants can be very beneficial. This includes:
– Sweet potatoes
3. Check Your Blood Pressure
Not only does high blood pressure increase your risk of developing kidney cancer, but blood pressure medication can be a risk factor as well. The easiest way to regulate your blood pressure is with a healthy diet full of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein sources. You should also attempt to get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.
If you have already been prescribed blood pressure medication, then you should speak with your doctor about alternative treatments. Additional lifestyle changes such as reducing your sodium intake and cutting alcohol from your diet can lower your blood pressure. Some studies have shown us that natural supplements including turmeric and ginger capsules can have a positive impact as well.
4. Be Wary of Environmental Toxins
Not many people realize just how many toxins they come into contact with that are increasing their risk of cancer. From secondhand smoke to home cleaning products, everything you inhale, eat, or put on your skin should be closely scrutinized. Natural cleaners made from simple products such as vinegar and concentrated lemon juice are both effective and safe. Some of the products you should be wary of include:
– Car fumes
– Air fresheners
– Burnt foods
– Aerosol beauty products
– Weed killers
– Deli meats
– Canned foods
Almost every form of cancer is the result of internal and external factors. While you cannot control your genetics or upbringing, you can control your lifestyle habits and some of the substances you come into contact with every day. Taking the time to eat fresh produce, exercise, and read ingredient lists can have quite a big impact on your overall health and quality of life.