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Kidney Diseases

Kidney cancer

05/01/2008

Question:

My Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is 29, that is high. eGFR Non-African American is 53, that is low. My BUN/Creatinine Ratio is 27. I got that information after blood work up, but no explanation from my doctor. What`s up? My father died of cancer in his kidney. I have high blood pressure and take meds for it.

Answer:

You definitely need to sit down with your doctor and go over these results.  You do not give your age or gender, but these results are almost certainly abnormal (unless you are a young, large, extremely muscular man).  It is likely that hypertension has damaged your kidneys to some degree, and your doctor should refer you to a nephrologist immediately so that further studies (such as urine tests for protein, and imaging studies such as an ultrasound) can be done.  It is important to preserve your remaining kidney function; and that can best be accomplished by excellent blood pressure control, treatment of high blood lipids, and smoking cessation.

Cancer of the kidney is not genetically-transmitted (except in rare cases, where it occurs as part of a disease with other manifestations), but be aware that smoking does increase the risk of kidney cancer.  However, kidney damage due to hypertension, diabetes, and other causes does have some tendency to run in families.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University