Monday, July 6, 2009

It's with a heavy heart that I write this post... After an excruciating long 6-day wait, which really has felt like a year, a urologist surgeon has confirmed that my mother has indeed Kidney Cancer. She went into the ER last week for what she thought was food poisoning. The specialist, who I must add was great in lifting our spirits, told us that this cancer was known as the "silent cancer". He explained how fortunate she had been to have fallen ill and discovered this by mere chance. Most people he explained further, do not find out until its way too late making this one of those worst cancers out there. Although this is the worst thing we can be going through as a family, I KNOW we will get through this. I have been very fortunate to have been raised by very strong-willed women in my family. There is no doubt in my mind that although this may be hard for my mom to take in she has already put on her combat boots!

These are some guidelines I have found over on WEB MD on this particular cancer. Please take your time out and view it. I am also including a link to the Action to Cure Kidney Cancer, a NYC based organization working to raise awareness of kidney cancer.

Understanding Kidney Cancer

Doctors don't know the causes of kidney cancer. But certain factors appear to increase the risk of getting kidney cancer. For example, kidney cancer occurs most often in people older than age 40. These are some other risk factors for kidney cancer:

  • Smoking. If you smoke cigarettes, your risk for kidney cancer is twice that of nonsmokers. Cigars may also increase your risk.
  • Being male. Men are about twice as likely as women to get kidney cancer.
  • Being obese. Extra weight may cause changes to hormones that increase your risk.
  • Using certain pain medications for a long time. This includes over-the-counter medications.
  • Having advanced kidney disease or being on long-term dialysis, a treatment for people with kidneys that have stopped working
  • Having certain genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease or inherited papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • Having a family history of kidney cancer. The risk is especially high in siblings.
  • Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as asbestos, cadmium, benzene, organic solvents, or certain herbicides
  • Having high blood pressure. Doctors don' know whether the condition or medication used to treat it is the source of the increased risk.
  • Being black. The risk in blacks is slightly higher than in whites. No one knows why.

Having these risk factors does not mean you will get kidney cancer. And it's also true that you can have none of them and still get the disease.

Action to Cure Kidney Cancer (ACKC):

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