Kidney stones are among the most reported health problems of people. These stones form in the reins due to the excess of minerals which crystallize there. This happens due to poor eating habits such as excessive consumption of oxalate, lack of calcium and fluids, etc.
Although kidney stones are quite common and absolutely curable, they can increase the frequency of cancers in some cases. Well, don’t panic, it actually happens in a few rare and serious cases.
Although the evidence is not sufficient, recent studies obtained that chronic and recurrent kidney stones can very often be associated with an increased risk of urinary tract cancer.
Here are some of the results and conclusions of a study by some researchers from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Kidney stones and cancer – how are they linked?
Accumulated risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
Kidney cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. In renal cell carcinoma, the cells of the lining of the renal tubules recognize that they grow at an uncontrollable rate. It is a fast growing cancer that spreads very quickly. It can spread to the lungs and other organs and can have life-threatening consequences.
According to the previously mentioned cohort study, people with a history of kidney stones have a 39% increased risk of kidney cell carcinoma. Kidney stones get the risk of papillary cell carcinoma of the kidney (pRCC) up to 3 times. The risk is even higher for people who have had kidney stones at an age below 40 years.
Accumulated risk of urothelial carcinoma of the upper tract (UTUC)
Urothelial carcinoma of the upper tract refers to cancers of the lining of the kidney or ureter. Just like other types of cancer, it can also spread to other organs in the body. Urothelial carcinoma of the upper tract puts you at risk of losing your kidney or ureter and, in severe cases, it can also lead to death.
Data from the same study found that kidney stones are associated with a 1.7-fold increase in the risk of urothelial cancer of the upper tract.
What is the mechanism by which kidney stones lead to cancer?
The exact link between kidney stones and kidney cancer is unknown and more research is needed in the area. However, experts believe that kidney stones can rub against the walls of the urinary tract and cause chronic localized irritation and inflammation of the kidney and ureter. When certain harmful solutes present in the urine come into contact with these areas, they tend to produce a carcinogenic effect.
Are men and women at equal risk of cancer from kidney stones?
The increased risk of RCC and pRCC was different for men and women. Women with a history of kidney stones had a significantly higher risk of pRCC. For RCC, the risk in men was somewhat high, but kidney stones did not appear to affect the risk of cancer in women.
But as mentioned before, not all cases of kidney stones turn into complicated cancer. This only happens when you are not paying due attention to the state of your body.
But don’t worry, we have a few simple tips to offer if you are also experiencing mild pain and symptoms of kidney stones.
Tips to prevent kidney stones from causing cancer (or getting serious)
Eat foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties – Foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties reduce pain and discomfort from kidney stones and also flush toxins from the body, preventing kidney stones from getting worse. So, you should have more citrus and remedies such as barley water, basil juice, etc.
Have natural hydrating fluids – Fluids are the key to improving the condition of kidney stones. Drink lots of hydrating liquids and juices. These promote the health of tissues and the reins and thus the kidney to function optimally.
Provide an adequate supply of oxygenated blood – To function properly, your kidneys need an adequate supply of blood and oxygen. Therefore, perform yoga asanas, light exercises and stretches, as these improve the blood circulation and thus the oxygen supply to the kidneys.
Woman exercise exercise for kidney stones
Only take medication prescribed by your doctor. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, take it as prescribed. Remember not to overdose and not miss a dose. And yes, self-medication is not an option at all.
Following these tips will help prevent the risk of kidney stones. And your overall health will also improve and fill you with more energy.
The bottom line
Kidney stones can cause problems at any time in your life. It is best to always maintain a healthy and sufficiently active routine. This way, you can easily manage the condition of kidney stones.
If you are currently suffering from kidney stone symptoms, you should immediately consult a specialist. You can contact us at Pristyn Care for the best advice with one of our specialists.
Also, remember that if you treat kidney stones properly and promptly, you don’t have to worry.