Childhood cancers, the many benefits of sport (even for those with only one kidney) –

from Vera Martinelle

Green light, after discussion with the doctors, for team and competition activities. The risk of serious physical injury from a collision is minimal, the benefits of many

They are born with only one kidney or only one remains due to a tumor, but that does not prevent children with this condition from being able to practice almost any sport they want, even at a competitive level. . Including those that are often avoided for fear that physical contact during games will damage the only remaining kidney, such as football, volleyball or basketball. To give the green light to physical activity for children, adolescents and young adults with only one kidney, an all-Italian analysis published in the scientific journal Nature Reviews Urology which demonstrates the benefits that can be obtained with sport at the same time in children with ongoing therapies and in those who have recovered. About one in 1,500 children is born without a kidney and there are about 60 newly diagnosed cases in Italy of Wilms tumor or nephroblastoma, which usually occurs between 2 and 5 years old – he explains. Filippo Spreaficopediatrician at the National Cancer Institute of Milan and coordinator of the study – Fortunately, by receiving the most suitable therapies for each individual case and being monitored in centers with experience, most young patients manage to recover permanently and lead a normal life.

Minimal risk of kidney injury due to physical collision

However, the fears of parents and trainers are numerous when these children or young people decide to go on the field, in particular on the possible risks deriving in particular from the practice of contact sports, during which they fear that bumps plug can damage the only remaining kidney. Even the scientific community over the years has expressed conflicting opinions and some confusion has set in. Thus, today, in many European countries and in the United States, there is a substantial orientation in favor of the practice of collective contact sports and Pediatric Oncology (Aieop) – with limitations relating exclusively to “high impact” competitive sports (such as American football and rugby), from which cancer patients with only one kidney are excluded. Existing evidence suggests that the likelihood of sustaining kidney damage while playing these sports is low, lower than developing head injuries, for example.

Sports at risk for the kidneys

In the pediatric population, the reported rate of kidney injury attributable to American football is 0.1-0.7% of all sports-related injuries and 0.07-0.5% of all sports-related injuries in general. In addition, they are often mild injuries that do not require surgery or lead to permanent dysfunction. The problems that limit the lives of these children and young people also come from the fact that the classification of sports based on the strength of contact is ambiguous. Based on the available data, Sports activities associated with increased rates of kidney damage include cycling, sledding, downhill skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and using all-terrain vehicles or cross-country bikes.. However, cycling, skating, skiing, horseback riding, and snowboarding are all classified as limited contact sports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and therefore are not subject to major restrictions. Although sports such as basketball and football are classified as contact or collision sports, they still carry very little risk to the kidneys. Based on the available data, we estimate that the benefits from participation in physical exercise and sports, including competitive and team sports, for recovered children Wilms tumor could far exceed the minimal correlated risks of sustaining damage to the remaining kidney – explains Spreafico -. Car collisions carry the highest risk of kidney damage in childhood, but no one has suggested stopping young adult nephofroblastoma survivors from getting a driver’s license.

The benefits of physical activity

On the contrary, physical activity can bring significant benefits to all children and young people and even more so to those who have undergone cancer treatment. Today, many scientific studies, carried out on millions of people, have shown how regular exercise can prevent and treat more than 40 of the most common diseases in the world, including various types of cancer. . And to heal faster and significantly reduce the risk of relapse, even in serious diseases such as tumors. A possible explanation for the anti-tumor role of physical activity can also be sought in the strengthening of the activity of the immune system and in the reduction of inflammatory factors involved in physical activity. In addition, displacing a contrast agent useful for overweight and obesity, important risk factors for the appearance of cancers and relapses. Regular exercise can be essential to improve the quality of life of people with kidney or kidney disease, who tend to be very inactive – concludes the expert -. In particular, it has been shown that in patients with chronic renal failure, it is important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. However, most pediatric patients are not active enough to derive the possible benefits. Most children and adolescents stop playing sports when they are diagnosed with cancer, too few start up again afterwards.

April 12, 2022 (change April 12, 2022 | 12:15)

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