3 way kidney swap saves New York woman’s life (Kidney Cancer, Kidney Problems Article)

Thirty-five years ago, Tom Danz and his wife, Angela, promised to have and to hold each other for better or for worse. In 2016, the couple proved they truly meant it when Angela was diagnosed with kidney cancer and Tom volunteered as a donor.

Fox 5 New York reported that Tom wasn’t a donor match, but last week, Angela received a kidney from a donor as part of a three-way swap. A national program that connects transplant patients with donors in other states who have been mismatched with a loved one made Angela’s transplant possible.

“We had to find somebody around the country with a donor that our patient would not react to — that was in Missouri,” Dr. Frank Darras, medical director of the kidney transplant program at Stony Brook Medicine, who treated Angela, told the news station. “Missouri had a similar patient — they found a match in Minnesota. They had a donor there who matched with our patient.”

Angela, who waited for a kidney donor match for 26 months — during which she had to undergo dialysis — credited her survival to her husband as well as the kindness of strangers.

Cancer: 5 Surprising Symptoms of the Disease

Cancer is one of the most frightening things that can happen to us. There are some obvious signs, such as lumps in the breast, that point to cancer, but what if there are some less obvious signs you should be aware of? Here are some surprising symptoms you may never connect with cancer. If you notice any of these patterns persisting, please consult a health care professional.

Number Five: Coughing

When it’s the cold and flu time of year, coughing is an obvious factor. However, if you have a cough that doesn’t seem to be going away, it could indicate lung problems or lymphoma. You only need to go to the doctor if the symptom persists for a while or seems unusual in any way.

Number Four: Change in Bowel Movements

Studies show that 18% of patients had experienced changes in the time of day, amount, or even the size of their stool. Usually, this is nothing to worry about and is only caused by certain foods or medicines, if you notice it happens a lot over time, it could be signaling colon cancer.

Number Three: Different Bladder Patterns

Because UTIs are common in females, this symptom is often disregarded by people. But whether you’re male or female, if you notice blood or pain, definitely bring it up with your physician to rule out problems of the bladder or kidneys.

Number Two: Mystery Pain Could Mean Cancer

Long-lasting pain is your body’s way of telling you there’s a problem, and that could be anything from nothing. It could mean cancer n your bones or even cancer of the ovaries. If there is pain from cancer, this typically means it has spread—a good reason not to take chances and to make an appointment to see your doctor.

Number One: A Sore Throat that Won’t Go Away

A sore throat might be just another cold symptom, but an abnormally long lasting one could point to something more serious, like throat cancer. Of those patients surveyed, nearly 80% didn’t think throat pain was serious, so don’t be afraid to check and make sure! We hope you found our article informative, and thanks for reading.

 

What Everyone Should Know About Kidney Cancer

What Everyone Should Know About Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the top 10 most common cancers in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 61,500 people in the United States will learn they have kidney cancer this year, and about 14,000 Americans will die from it. What do you know about this significant disease? In honor of Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, below I share important information about kidney cancer, its signs and symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options.

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer originates in the kidney, a complex, fist-sized organ. We have two kidneys, located in the middle of our back. Among several roles, their most important is filtering toxins and excess water from the blood, a process that produces urine. The most common type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma, comprising about 90 percent of all kidney cancers.

What causes kidney cancer?

We know that cancerous renal cells have a genetic mutation, but we don’t know what causes that mutation. Factors increasing one’s risk of kidney cancer include older age (the average age at diagnosis is 64), smoking, obesity, and kidney failure and dialysis. Most cases of kidney cancer are sporadic, meaning they just happen, but some are inherited, so people with a history of several family members having kidney cancer are at greater risk, as well. The hereditary form generally strikes younger patients in their 20s, 30s, or 40s.

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney cancer?

In its early stages, kidney cancer usually causes no symptoms. The main signs and symptoms of more advanced cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Flank pain (pain in the middle side of the back)
  • A mass or lump on the side or lower back

How is the cancer found early if there are no symptoms?

Unfortunately, there is no recommended screening process for kidney cancer. Most kidney tumors are found incidentally, meaning by accident, during imaging tests (such as ultrasound or MRI) for unrelated, non-specific abdominal complaints. The good news is that most kidney cancers are found early.

Can kidney cancer be cured?

When found early, kidney tumors are highly curable. However, when kidney cancer spreads, or metastasizes, to other parts of the body, it goes from being one of the most curable types of cancer to one of the least.

How is early kidney cancer treated?

Surgical removal of the tumor is the treatment of choice for cancer that has not spread beyond the kidney. Whenever possible, depending on the tumor’s location, size, and complexity, we take out just the tumor and surrounding tissue, sparing the remaining, healthy part of the kidney. This is called partial nephrectomy.

Surgery may be performed via a large, open incision through the side (under the rib cage), or laparoscopically, in which surgical instruments—including a long tube with a video camera on the end—are inserted through several small holes to remove the tumor (or entire kidney). This minimally invasive surgery can result in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and less pain after surgery. An even more advanced approach is laparoscopic, robotic-assisted surgery, in which the surgeon controls miniature instruments from a remote console, using sophisticated imaging tools for guidance.

Robotic partial nephrectomies are not only helping us save the healthy part of the kidney, but also optimize its function after surgery. In the past, while cutting out the tumor and sewing the kidney back up, we had to stop all blood flow to the kidney. This damaged the kidney, even when it was saved. Now, a new robotic technique allows us to clamp just the arteries that feed the tumor, while keeping open those that supply blood to the rest of the kidney, allowing it to maintain normal blood flow.

What about treatment for more advanced cancer?

Unfortunately, kidney cancer does not respond well to radiation treatment or traditional chemotherapy, so treatment options have been limited. However, there has been improved success with a new class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). These medications target a specific growth pathway used by renal cell carcinoma. There is still a role for surgery in the setting of advanced kidney cancer. Even if the cancer has metastasized, if you take out the primary tumor (which, at this point, typically means removing the entire kidney), the response to therapy is better.

Some of the most exciting research right now is being done in the area of targeted kidney cancer therapies, be it chemotherapy, immunotherapy (which uses your own immune system to fight the cancer), or tumor vaccine (which boosts the body’s ability to protect itself from cancer). For instance, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, we are looking at the genetic composition of different types of renal cell tumors in the hope of identifying the most effective therapy for an individual’s particular type of kidney cancer.

What should people with an early diagnosis of kidney cancer know?

Kidney tumors grow slowly during their early stages. If you are diagnosed with early kidney cancer, be sure to take the time to learn more about the cancer, seek a second opinion, and research treatment options to understand the best approach for you. The websites of the American Cancer Society and the Kidney Cancer Association are good places to start.

Is there any way to prevent kidney cancer?

While there is no known way to prevent kidney cancer, you can take steps to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible. Doing so may lower your risk for this disease, and, if you do get kidney cancer, will help ensure the best kidney function after treatment. Everything you would do for heart health will also help keep your kidneys in shape:

  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check;
  • If you have diabetes, make sure to control it;
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight;
  • If you smoke, quit.

These 6 Foods Are The Worst For Your Kidneys And Cause Bone Loss Or (Kidney Cancer)

When I first started researching drug-free ways to prevent and reverse osteoporosis, balancing the pH emerged as a crucial element in bone health. It’s so important to preserve and increase bone density, that I based the Save Our Bones Program on this concept.

At the center of the pH balancing act are the kidneys, and today we’re going to talk about six foods that you’ll want to avoid to keep these organs healthy, and how that plays into preventing bone loss.

A Brief Overview Of The Kidneys’ Role In Preventing Bone Loss

As your kidneys filter out toxins and excess acid from the blood, they also put a buffer or acid neutralizer back into the bloodstream in the form of bicarbonate. This shows how crucial it is for your system to be alkaline, and it’s also why the kidneys get overworked when, for example, you take a lot of medications (which are acidic) and/or eat an acid-forming diet.

And just as there are certain foods that help cleanse and alkalize the body and ease the load on the kidneys, there are also foods that are not only acidic, but actually damage these important organs.

6 Foods To Avoid

Remember, no food is strictly off-limits on the Save Our Bones Program. So when I mention “avoiding” a food or foods, it’s more about raising awareness of how these foods act in your body so you can make informed choices and limit their consumption.

The following 6 foods (and food components) can actually harm your bones or your kidneys (especially when consumed in large quantities) and some of them may surprise you.

1. Animal Protein (Meat and Dairy)

When my doctor announced I had osteoporosis, he also told me to “drink plenty of milk.” I’m sure that many of you in our community got the same advice, but fortunately, by now you know that most doctors have it all wrong about milk. Here’s a brief refresher why.

For one thing, milk contains animal protein. This protein is highly acidifying, whether it comes from a goat, sheep, or cow. This is why the consumption of milk and other dairy products increases calcium secretion in the urine – the body must take calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid in your system before your kidneys get bombarded with the excess protein.

And as you might suspect, this puts a tremendous amount of stress on your kidneys and “ages” your bones by depleting them of calcium. In fact, research from Harvard Medical School clearly shows that drinking milk does nothing to prevent fractures, and in fact may increase fracture risk.

Meat is, of course, straight animal protein, and a 2003 study shows that meat-rich diets increase the risk of uric acid kidney stones.1 This is direct evidence that animal protein harms your kidneys.

“…a balanced vegetarian diet with a moderate animal protein … and a high alkali-load with fruits and vegetables results in the lowest risk of uric acid crystallization compared to the omnivorous diets,”1 the study concludes.

The good news is that the pH-balanced nutrition of the Save Our Bones Program is low in animal proteins and rich in fruits and vegetables, so you’re doing more than building and rejuvenating your bones. You’re also protecting your kidneys!

2. Caffeine

I know how easy it is to become caffeine dependent. But while this stimulant may make you feel more energy temporarily, it ultimately makes you feel older and more tired.

The problem with caffeine is the very thing we like about it: it’s a stimulant, and if your kidneys are already taxed, long-term caffeine use can increase your risk of renal failure.2Even brief caffeine consumption increases your risk of developing kidney stones, especially on an empty stomach. A 2002 study analyzed the immediate effects of drinking caffeine after 14 hours of fasting. The results showed greater calcium excretion in the urine and a higher risk of kidney stone formation.3

So have caffeine in moderation. Here’s a trick I use for my morning coffee: I brew half regular and half naturally decaf coffee to reduce the amount of caffeine.

3. Synthetic Sweeteners (Aspartame, Saccharine, etc.)

While it’s true that sugar is bad for your bones, the “fake stuff” will rapidly decrease your kidney function. The fact is, these artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that are toxic and acidifying.

The heaviest consumption of these chemicals is from drinking diet colas. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that just two cans of diet soda cause a decline in renal function.4

So use plant-derived stevia instead of the toxic artificial sweeteners.

Speaking of carbonated beverages…

4. Sodas

These bubbly beverages rob your bones of their youthful vitality in other ways besides crippling your kidneys. They literally melt your bones because of the enormous amount of caustic phosphoric acid they contain. This acid dissolves calcium, making it just about impossible to prevent bone loss.

Like the study above involving two or more cans of cola a day, another study showed that this same amount of carbonated beverages – regardless of the kind of sweetener they contained – increased the risk of chronic kidney disease.5

With their high concentration of sugar or artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and phosphoric acid, such beverages are best avoided if you want to prevent your bones from losing density. Instead, drink plenty of distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice, and feel free to indulge in the occasional homemade soda alternative.

5. Salt

Table salt contains sodium chloride (NaCl), anti-caking agents, and often dextrose. It’s also bleached and processed for uniform color and crystal size.

Plus table salt, which contains 40% sodium, is devoid of other trace minerals or healthful components, thus bombarding your kidneys with excessive amounts of a single element. For example, a high sodium diet that’s low in potassium has been linked to heart attack and, startlingly enough, death from any cause.5

Americans tend to consume far too much table salt and sodium. The kidneys must try to keep up with the resulting salt levels in the blood, increasing the need for water to keep intercellular fluids balanced. The body then holds the water as it tries to correct for the excess salt, creating excessive blood volume. The cardiovascular and renal systems must work very hard under this pressure.

There’s more bad news for sodium lovers – salt robs your bones of the calcium they need to be resilient and strong. Urinary output of calcium increases greatly when excess sodium is ingested, accelerating the aging process and damaging bones.6

Savers know that the Program recommends using sea salt instead of table salt. Plus when you follow the Program, you’re eating a potassium-rich diet, which counteracts the damaging effects of excessive sodium.

6. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

The artificial introduction of foreign genetic material into foods is a relatively new science, but research is emerging with ominous implications about this practice.

Some very common foods like corn, canola, and soy are almost always genetically modified these days, while evidence mounts that these foods cause kidney damage.