Coping with Kidney Cancer which is Prevalent in Seniors
Studies have revealed that 55,000 people in the U.S. are affected by kidney cancer every year. The cancer is said to be more common in men than women and more prevalent in seniors. While kidney cancer has no direct cause, learning the way the symptoms present themselves, how to reduce one’s risk and the treatment options available will prepare anyone as he faces this cancer.
Typically, kidney cancer doesn’t display noticeable symptoms until it has progressed. Later stage kidney cancer can have symptoms include.
- Pain. Those who have kidney cancer may experience side or back pain which isn’t caused by any injury and doesn’t go away.
- Blood in the blood. The blood’s color may vary from rusty to pink; however, any sign of blood must not be taken lightly.
- Fatigue. Kidney cancer can cause a strong sense of fatigue and weakness on the sufferer.
- Weight loss. A sudden weight loss is commonly experienced by those with this cancer.
- Fever. This fever doesn’t seem to go away and isn’t caused by an infection.
- A number of the risk factors can be mitigated with lifestyle changes while others are fixed such as family history or age. Some factors that can cause kidney cancer include:
- Work exposure. Working in premises where there is exposure to harmful chemicals put anyone at risk of developing cancer.
- Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of many various kinds of cancer that include kidney cancer.
- Family history. A history of this form of cancer or other kidney issues predisposes a person to develop cancer.
- Age. Older people are at higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Kidney disease. Those who suffer from advanced kidney disease are at greater risk of contracting cancer.
Treatment Options Available
- There are many ways to treat kidney cancer. Below are some of them.
- Surgery. Nephrectomy (removal of the cancerous kidney) and nephron-sparing surgery (removal of the tumor area from the affected kidney) are the two major surgeries performed to treat kidney cancer. Invasive surgeries such as lymph node or adrenal gland removal depend on the spread of cancer.
- Radiation Therapy. This treatment option makes use of X-rays or high-energy beams in order to kill cancer cells. Also, it’s used for easing the intensity of the symptoms of cancer.
- Cryotherapy. This includes the use of extreme cold in order to kill the tumor. The surgeon will insert a needle into the affected area of the kidney and send freezing gas through the needle in order to form an ice pack around the tumor and then destroy it.
- Biological Therapy. This involves using the patient’s immune system in attacking cancer. But, the side effects include experiencing symptoms similar to the flu symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, chills, and fever.
- Targeted Therapy. This includes the use of drugs in order to target certain cancer cells. A number of side effects to this kind of therapy include fatigue, diarrhea, and rashes.
How to Cope with Kidney Cancer
- As a patient combats cancer, he will experience a significant change in his life. Normally, he feels tired, overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, and lonely. It is imperative to look for real support during this time. This support includes:
- Personal support. Patients might find strength by prioritizing his body. While exercises may not be possible with this condition, the patient can try to do what his body allows. He must eat healthy meals and consume lots of water.
- Support from the community. Building a strong support network allows a cancer patient to find encouragement, friendship, and hope. Castle Group Home Care, a leading provider of home care in Main Street Newtown CT, suggests that the patient visits a support group, talk with other cancer survivors, or spend time with a counselor.
- Support from a medical team. It is imperative to have a team of physicians, nurses, and caregivers the patient trusts. He can discuss things with the team as well as share his fears, questions, and hopes.