Kidney Cancer Facts

The kidneys are two organs in the body that filter the blood and remove waste material and excess water by making urine that is expelled as waste. Cancer is the growth of malignant (abnormal) cells within the body. Although the exact cause of kidney cancer is not known, risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, long-term dialysis,Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, occupational exposure (coke oven workers and asbestos workers, for example), and male gender.

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer include :

Blood in the urine, constant pain in the side or flank, a lump or mass in the abdomen or side, fever, weight loss, and fatigue. The following tests are used to help diagnose kidney cancer: physical exam, urine tests, CT and/or MRI of kidney tissue, and ultrasound. Surgical removal of kidney tissue allows the type of kidney cancer to be determined.

Renal cell cancer ( subtypes: clear cell, papillary renal cell, chromophobe renal cell ) makes up about 90% of all kidney cancers. Rare types of kidney cancer include carcinoma of the collecting ducts, renal medullary carcinoma, sarcomatoid cancer, transitional cell carcinoma, Wilms tumor in children, oncocytoma, hereditary papillary renal cancer, and unclassified renal cell carcinomas.

Kidney cancer is staged by measuring the size of the tumor, the location of the cancer cells either confined to the kidney, locally spread, or widespread beyond the fibrous tissue surrounding the kidney (stages I through IV).

There are other similar staging systems. Treatment of kidney cancer includes one of or a combination of the following methods: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, embolization, biological therapy, and surgery.

Side effects of kidney cancer treatment are related to the methods used and may include the following: nausea and vomiting, weakness, weight loss, infection, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, skin rash, and hair loss.After treatment, follow-up care is very important to monitor recovery and to check for any possible recurrence of kidney cancer. Research is ongoing; combined chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation is an active area of research. Other studies include developing cancer vaccines to help the immune system attack cancer cells. There are a number of resources available for patients who have kidney cancer. Read More

4 Negative Effects of Eating Too Many Grapes

Grapes are incredibly good for you, giving you a variety of different vitamins, minerals and even fiber. It is possible, however, to eat too many grapes. Always pre-portion your grapes, instead of nibbling right out of the bag. Otherwise, you might experience negative side effects. If you’re allergic to grapes, you might even have problems simply by coming into contact with them.

Weight Gain

Sure, grapes are relatively low in calories. One full cup, which is about 30 grapes, has fewer than 105 calories. The issue is, however, that grapes are easy to pop in your mouth. If you sit down with a bag of grapes and turn on the TV — before you know it — you could eat most of the bag. Suddenly, your 105-calorie snack doubles or triples in calories, eventually giving you the same number of calories you’d get from an entire meal. If you eat large portions of grapes on a regular basis without first measuring your portion size, the additional calories could cause you to gain weight.

Carb Overload

You need carbohydrates in your diet. They convert to your body’s main source of energy — glucose. Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of all the calories you consume, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That’s 900 to 1,300 calories from carbs or 225 to 325 grams daily, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. That 1-cup serving of grapes has more than 27 grams of carbs. If you’re snacking on grapes freely and not paying attention to your serving size, you could quickly consume more than your daily carb allotment. You’ll also throw off your balance of macronutrients, meaning that if your carb intake is high, your protein and fat intake may be lacking.

Gut Issues

You’ll get a decent dose of fiber from grapes — roughly 1.5 grams from 1 cup. That’s probably not enough to cause any disruption in your gut. If you snack on a large serving of grapes, however, you increase your fiber intake. If you don’t regularly consume a lot of fiber, you could notice an uncomfortable rumbling in your tummy after devouring a large, fiber-rich portion of grapes. Because your body isn’t used to the fiber, it becomes difficult to pass stools, which is a sign of constipation. Sometimes, extra fiber has the opposite effect, however, leaving you with diarrhea, as your system tries to expel the additional fiber.

Allergy Attack

It’s not common to have a grape allergy, although it can happen. If you’re allergic to grapes, you might get hives or red patches on your skin by touching grapes or shortly after eating them. In severe cases, you might have difficulty breathing or go into anaphylactic shock. Just because you have an allergic reaction to grapes, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re allergic to the fruit itself. You may actually be allergic to the pesticide on the grapes, or to the yeast or mold that grows on the grapes. The only way to be certain what you’re allergic to is to undergo allergen testing from your physician’s office or via a referral to a testing center. Read More

Health Benefits And What You Need To Know About Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a product made from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant that is also used to make black tea and green tea. The difference is in the processing. Oolong tea is partially fermented, black tea is fully fermented, and green tea is unfermented.

Oolong tea is used to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. It is also used to prevent cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

Some people use oolong tea to treat obesity, diabetes, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol and skin allergies such as eczema; and to boost the immune system.

How does it work?

Oolong tea contains caffeine. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles. Oolong tea also contains theophylline and theobromine, which are chemicals similar to caffeine.

Uses & Effectiveness

Likely Effective for…

Mental alertness. Drinking oolong tea or other caffeinated beverages throughout the day seems to maintain alertness and mental performance. Combining caffeine with sugar as an “energy drink” seems to improve mental performance better than either caffeine or sugar alone.

Possibly Effective for…

Preventing ovarian cancer. Women who regularly drink tea, including black tea, green tea, or oolong tea, appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study found that drinking 2 or more cups of tea daily seems to cut ovarian cancer risk by almost half.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

Treating skin allergies (eczema). Developing research suggests that drinking about 4 cups (34 oz or 1000 mL) of oolong tea per day in 3 divided doses improves eczema that hasn’t responded to other treatments. It may take 1 or 2 weeks of treatment to see improvement.Treating diabetes. Some research suggests that drinking about 6 cups (50 oz or 1500 mL) of oolong tea for 30 days might lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, tea drinking doesn’t seem to prevent diabetes.

Preventing high blood pressure. Some research in Chinese people shows that drinking 1 or 2 cups (4-20 oz or 120-599 mL) of oolong tea or green tea daily seems to prevent high blood pressure. Drinking more tea seems to lower the risk even more.Weak bones (osteoporosis). There is some evidence that drinking oolong tea for 10 years is associated with stronger bones (increased bone mineral density).Promoting weight loss.Preventing tooth decay.Reducing the risk of cancer.Other conditions.More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of oolong tea for these uses.

Side Effects

Too much oolong tea, more than five cups per day, can cause side effects because of the caffeine. These side effects can range from mild to serious and include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion.

Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, oolong tea in small amounts is probably not harmful. However, do not drink more than 2 cups a day of oolong tea. That amount of tea contains about 200 mg of caffeine. Too much caffeine during pregnancy might cause premature delivery, low birth weight, and harm to the baby. Too much caffeine during breast-feeding might cause irritability and increase bowel movements in nursing infants.

Children: Caffeine is probably safe in children in amounts commonly found in foods.

Anxiety disorders: The caffeine in oolong tea might make anxiety disorders worse.

Bleeding disorders: Some research suggests that caffeine might slow blood clotting. Though this research was not done in humans, there is still some concern that caffeine might make bleeding disorders worse.

Heart conditions: Caffeine in oolong tea can cause irregular heartbeat in some people.

Diabetes: Some research suggests that the caffeine in oolong tea may affect the way people with diabetes process sugar and may complicate blood sugar control. Caffeine has been reported to both increase and decrease blood sugar. There is also some interesting research that suggests caffeine may make the warning signs of low blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes more noticeable. This might increase the ability of people with diabetes to detect and treat low blood sugar. However, the downside is that caffeine might actually increase the number of low-sugar episodes. If you have diabetes, talk with your healthcare provider before using oolong tea.

Diarrhea. Oolong tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in oolong tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Oolong tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in oolong tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.

Glaucoma: The caffeine in oolong tea increases the pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes.

High blood pressure: The caffeine in oolong tea might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this doesn’t seem to happen in people who regularly drink oolong tea or other caffeinated products.

Weak bones (osteoporosis): Drinking oolong tea can flush out calcium in the urine. That can affect bone health. If you have osteoporosis, don’t drink more than 3 cups of oolong tea per day. Consider taking calcium supplements to make up for the calcium that is flushed out. If you have a genetic condition that harms the way your body processes vitamin D, get medical advice before consuming a lot of caffeine.

Interactions

AmphetaminesInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Stimulant drugs such as amphetamines speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and increase your heart rate. The caffeine in oolong tea might also speed up the nervous system. Taking oolong tea along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with oolong tea.

CocaineInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination. Read More

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