Kidney cancer describes a malignancy that originates in the kidneys, the two fist-sized organs that sit in the middle of the back on either side of the spine. The kidneys filter waste and dead cells from the blood for excretion through the urine. The kidneys receive signals from the body regarding what substances they should and should not filter from the blood to maintain bodily homeostasis.
Kidney cancer develops when one of the small cells in the kidney becomes damaged, and growth and replication sections of its DNA become altered. This cell multiplies itself rapidly, producing identical cells that form a malignant kidney tumor. The most common form of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma, while Wilms' tumor is common in children.
Manage High Blood Pressure
An individual who wants to prevent kidney cancer is advised to manage their blood pressure, particularly if it is high. Long-term high blood pressure increases an individual's risk of developing kidney cancer in comparison to healthy individuals. High blood pressure over time causes damage to arterial walls repaired through bodily processes with tougher fibrous tissues. When hypertension causes the arteries that supply an individual's kidneys with oxygenated blood to become stiff narrow, an adequate amount of blood cannot reach all of the tissues in the kidneys. Body tissues have adaptation mechanisms for situations where they become deprived of adequate oxygen levels.
To initiate these adaptive mechanisms, the affected tissues have to upregulate substances called hypoxia-inducible factors. These substances play a critical role in the process of malignancy development, as many kidney cancers have been attributed to the gene that controls the production and expression of such factors. High blood pressure can cause increased levels of oxidative stress in the kidney tissues. Oxidative stress exploits any genetic variability and mutations in cancerous or precancerous cells, promoting its development and progression.